Research vaccination preparedness in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom starts
The Public Health of the various islands in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, in collaboration with the VWS, is conducting research on vaccination preparedness. The purpose of the research is to come up with strategies to back up the vaccination communication campaign teams in order to support the vaccination process in the last phase. The research will be executed by local researchers in collaboration with I&O Research.
The research on Statia will take place on Monday, August 23rd and Wednesday, August 24th, 2021. Focus group meetings will be held online through a video connection with a researcher based in Curacao.
If you are interested in contributing to the research you can send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be invited for an interview or focus group meeting. Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons can participate. If needed, people will be selected. The Public Entity will contact specific organizations such as; schools, churches and companies to contribute to the research.
In February 2021, the Covid-19 vaccination programs on the BES islands and CAS-countries started in stages. People aged 60 or over and healthcare staff were the first in line to be vaccinated. Since April, this was extended to all those aged 18 or over and since the beginning of this month youngsters from ages 12 to17 year-olds can be vaccinated. In the meantime, almost 400.000 vaccinations have been administered to inhabitants of the islands.
The RIVM calculates that, since the Delta variant of the virus has been detected in all three CAS- countries and Bonaire, a vaccination rate of approximately 75 to 85% of the total population should be reached in order to achieve herd immunity. Currently, we have not yet reached this vaccination rate (fully vaccinated, total population of 12 years and older). The vaccination teams on the islands / countries indicate that they don’t have a good, evidence-based view of what keeps vaccine skeptics and refusers from being vaccinated, and that they therefore don’t exactly know how to adapt their vaccination or communication policy in order to increase the vaccination preparedness.
For this reason, the ministry of VWS in partnership with health authorities on the islands / countries in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, are going to execute a qualitative research on the Leeward and Windward islands by means of in-depth interviews and focus group interviews on the reasons that people may have to let themselves be vaccinated or not. Specific attention will be given to 12-40 year-olds in this. The vaccination teams on the islands / countries also indicate that not everybody shows up for their second shot. This means that people are not fully vaccinated and therefore not optimally protected against serious diseases or death due to Covid-19. This question will therefore also be included in the research.
The research results will be presented at the beginning of September to the VWS and the public health organization of the islands / countries in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. Based on the in-depth interviews, the researchers will formulate specific policy recommendations to increase the vaccination preparedness in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. In doing so, they will consider the local circumstances on the various islands / countries, including the capacity of the vaccination teams to take up these recommendations.