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Common Structural and Informational Barriers to COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake

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Since the journey to vaccination starts when individuals and communities begin learning about a vaccine and contemplate getting it, it is important to understand exactly how people make decisions that are related to vaccination, to develop vaccination programs that encourage and motivate more people to get vaccinated.

Although several vaccination programs focus on the supply of vaccines to reach everyone, some barriers hindering the uptake of the same are structural. Here is a breakdown of the most common;

Poor Infrastructure

Certain experiences with the infrastructure system or care system deter people from getting certain services. The COVID-19 vaccine uptake is no different. Such experiences include:

  • Poor service
  • Unclear or complex processes
  • Long waiting times
  • Irregular hours of operation.

These experiences tarnish people’s trust in the services and create hesitancy in accessing them.


When we talk of cost, we aren’t only addressing monetary cost, but also cost in terms of time and income. People may want to get the vaccine but may find it expensive in terms of the time and income they are supposed to sacrifice to get to the vaccination center.


Access to the vaccine implies how easy it is for all individuals to get the vaccine. For people in remote areas, the vaccination center might be too far away, thus hindering access. Other factors that might hinder access to the vaccine include the high cost of traveling to receive the vaccine, lack of necessary documentation to receive the vaccine or inadequate doses for everyone.

Other barriers to the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine are informational barriers. Here’s a breakdown of the same.


Through the use of social media, false information has spread rapidly, regarding the causes of COVID-19 and its side effects. False information regarding vaccination plans has also been exacerbated. This poses a major challenge in sharing useful and reliable information.

Inadequate Information

Several populations have no access to useful and reliable information regarding side effects, the importance of getting vaccinated, or even the nearest vaccination centers. This is especially common for remote and vulnerable populations, who continue to miss out on important information.

Complex Information

Before identifying relevant information, an individual has to have an understanding of the information they receive. For populations with low literacy, understanding the information the people encounter can be quite challenging. It is further exacerbated by the multiple
types of vaccines being offered.

With the successful relay of information to individuals and communities in general, the above structural and informational barriers hindering the uptake of the vaccine can be overcome. By reading this article, you have access to reliable and helpful information regarding the barriers and can readily steer the world in a positive direction. To get useful information on how to overcome each of the barriers, stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter.



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