Title : Inequality in Access to COVID-19 Vaccines: Evidence from the Household Heads and Household Help from Dhaka City

Authors : Gour Gobinda Goswami and Kazi Labiba

Abstract : Inequality, disparity, or gap in vaccination has been perceived as a research problem in the recent COVID-19 pandemic. So far, this type of inequality has been investigated in the particular context of race, ethnicity, gender, regions in different parts of the world, with no study conducted so far in the context of Bangladesh. This paper fills this gap by examining whether there is any inequality or vaccine gap among various people in Dhaka city, Bangladesh. We have conducted an online purposive random sampling of 311 Household Heads from Dhaka, Bangladesh, with their respective Household Helps to examine the vaccination status, socioeconomic, education, income, access to the internet, cellphone, laptop or other computer devices, national identity card, and demographic characteristics. Using univariate descriptive statistics, bivariate contingency table analysis, and multivariate logistic regression estimation, we have found that the Household Helps have access to cell phones without internet access in a set-up where Government has made it mandatory to register for the vaccination online. Household Heads who mainly belong to a relatively affluent class of society have proper access to cell phones and the internet. The main finding is that in Dhaka, the largest megacity and the capital of Bangladesh, Household Helps above 40 years old have not taken COVID-19 vaccination mostly. At the same time, their associated Household Heads are mostly vaccinated with two doses if they are above 40 years of age when the vaccination was available for the general public. The multivariate logistic regression result reveals that at 5% significance, the coefficients of Household Head dummy and access to mobile, internet, and computer facility are significant deterrents to online registration and vaccination. The results have posed a question of the efficacy of the vaccination drive regarding the observed inequality or vaccine gap, primarily driven by class differences, whereas the Government policy towards Vaccination is Universal across classes. We have also observed a considerable perception gap between these two classes in the adoption of vaccination. JEL Classification: I1 (Health); I18 (Government Policy, Regulation, and Public Health) Keywords: Vaccine Gap; Vaccine Inequality; Vaccine Disparity; Vaccination; SARS-COV2; COVID-19; Bangladesh; Dhaka

Journal : Journal of Bangladesh Studies (JBS) Volume : 23 Year : 2021 Issue : 1
Pages : 79-95 City : Edition : Editors :
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