Beliefs, barriers and hesitancy towards the COVID-19 vaccine among Bangladeshi residents: Findings from a cross-sectional study

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 23;17(8):e0269944. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269944. eCollection 2022.


Background: COVID-19 vaccination acceptance is important, and combating hesitancy which is generally based on the individuals' beliefs and perceptions is essential in the present pandemic. This study assesses COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and associated factors, beliefs and barriers associated with COVID-19 vaccination.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 492 Bangladeshi residents (76% male; mean age = 24.21 ± 4.91 years; age range = 18-50 years) prior to the nationwide mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign (September 28, 2021). A semi-structured e-questionnaire included three sections (demographic variables, beliefs around the vaccination, and perceived barriers regarding COVID-19 vaccination).

Results: More than a quarter of participants (26.42%) were hesitant, 70.33% reported to accept the vaccine, and 3.25% refused to be vaccinated. While (54%) believed that mass vaccination would be the most effective method to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns regarding the side effects of the vaccine (58%), inadequate vaccine trials before human administration (43%), commercial profiteering (42%), and mistrust of the benefits of the vaccine (20%) were also reported. In addition, other barriers including a short supply of vaccines, unknown future adverse effects (55%), low confidence in the health system (51%), doubts regarding its effectiveness (50%) and safety (45%), and insufficient information regarding potential adverse effects (44.7%) were reported. In bivariate analysis, variables such as current political affiliation, previous vaccination history, and health status were significantly associated with the COVID-19 vaccine uptake variable (acceptance, hesitancy, refusal). Regression analysis showed that participants who identified with the opposing current political parties, and not having been vaccinated since the age of 18 years were significantly more likely to report vaccine hesitancy.

Conclusions: The current findings relating to COVID-19 vaccination demonstrate that government and policy makers need to take all necessary measures to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccination program among the Bangladeshi people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Vaccination
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Urogenital Abnormalities*
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines*
  • Young Adult


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Vaccines

Grant support

The study was funded by the NST Fellowship 2020-2021. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.