Diversity: Impact on Vaccine Equity (DIVE)
Minority Rights Group International worked in partnership with Grand Synergy Development Initiative (GSDI), Bytes for All (B4A) and Verité Research to monitor social media to track and understand content shared about Covid-19 vaccine confidence, uptake and access across diverse ethnic, religious and linguistic groups in Algeria, Kenya, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Among these groups are the indigenous Amazigh community in Algeria, Muslim Somalis and other local minority and indigenous communities in Kenya, religious minorities in Pakistan, and Tamil and Muslim minorities in Sri Lanka.
This Bulletin reports the impact of diversity in terms of ethnicity, language and religion on Covid-19 vaccine confidence and access in four settings. The findings of this brief report are specific to the social media monitoring conducted on Facebook from January 2021 to January 2022 and one other method for data triangulation in each country.
The study is a preliminary report of an ongoing research study but has already revealed:
- Different amounts of information are available in majority and minority languages in some settings;
- Differences in vaccine confidence between majority and minority social media users in some settings;
- Concerns relating to Covid-19 vaccine confidence/hesitancy and reservations dominate online conversations across all four countries;
- Common reservations are shared across the four countries, and the various languages and ethnicities with various degrees: ‘doubt over vaccine safety’, ‘doubt over vaccine efficacy’, and those that referred to ‘conspiracy related fears’;
- Differences in reported trust between health authorities/providers and users posting in different languages in some settings; and
- No evidence, as yet, for different levels of access to vaccines or discrimination being a barrier to accessing the Covid-19 vaccine in our research settings.
The picture is still emerging and not totally clear, but does suggest that attention to diversity in terms of ethnicity, language and religion is essential when planning any vaccine rollout or vaccine information programme.
This Bulletin was published in the context of MRG’s Diversity: Impact on Vaccine Equality (DIVE) programme (2021-2022).