Low vaccination coverage of livestock is one of the major challenges to control anthrax in Bangladesh. This study was conducted to assess an alternate approach to maximize vaccination coverage. The method included traditional vaccination campaigns, livestock census, interviews, focus group discussions of cattle farmers, vaccination and livestock personnel, and validation workshops. It was observed that a mass vaccination program covered only 44% of the cattle population. It was found that 54.1% of the respondents did not bring their cattle to mass vaccination programs due to the difficulties of handling cattle and that there was no male member in the household. Only 12.5% of respondents acknowledged that they were not aware of the vaccine, and 3% of the respondents claimed that they ignored vaccination due to cost. All of the respondents from livestock personnel agreed that manpower was not enough to cover the total area. Further, 20% of vaccinators mentioned that they did not get enough vaccines. For an effective vaccination program, 58.33% of respondents recommended door-to-door service, and 54.16% of respondents suggested to arrange regular vaccination campaigns in six-month intervals. Thus, regular campaigns with door-to-door vaccination services are suggested to control anthrax outbreaks in Bangladesh.
Keywords: Anthrax; Bacillus anthracis; Bangladesh; Livestock; challenges; vaccination; vaccine; zoonosis.