A reactive campaign using two doses of Shanchol Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) was implemented in 2016 in the Lake Chilwa Region (Malawi) targeting fish dependent communities. Three strategies for the second vaccine dose delivery (including delivery by a community leader and self-administration) were used to facilitate vaccine access.
This assessment collected vaccine perceptions and opinions about the OCV campaign of 313 study participants, including: fishermen, fish traders, farmers, community leaders, and one health and one NGO officer. Socio-demographic surveys were conducted, in Depth Interviews and Focus Group Discussions were conducted before and during the campaign. Some fishermen perceived the traditional delivery strategy as reliable but less practical. Delivery by traditional leaders was acceptable for some participants while others worried about traditional leaders not being trained to deliver vaccines or beneficiaries taking doses on their own. A slight majority of beneficiaries considered the self-administration strategy practical while some beneficiaries worried about storing vials outside of the cold chain or losing vials.
During the campaign, a majority of participants preferred receiving oral vaccines instead of injections given ease of intake and lack of pain. OCV was perceived as efficacious and safe. However, a lack of information on how sero-protection may be delayed and the degree of sero-protection led to loss of trust in vaccine potency among some participants who witnessed Cholera cases among vaccinated individuals. OCV campaign implementation requires accompanying communication on protective levels, less than 100% vaccine efficacy, delays in onset of sero-protection, and out of cold chain storage.