COVID-19 vaccination intention among Venezuelan migrant populations in Colombia, 2021

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Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease

Dear Editor,
One key aspect for control of the Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is vaccination. This is related to multiple factors (e.g. availability), but especially to vaccine hesitancy and intention. In the recent article from Urrunaga-Pastor et al. [1], they describe a COVID-19 vaccine intention of 80% in a large Latin American sample. Whilst we agree on its importance, we would like to discuss our assessment of a particularly complex and vulnerable subpopulation, Venezuelan migrants in Colombia.
We conducted three random sample-based community surveys among Venezuelans in Cucuta, Norte de Santander department (surveys in the El Talento and Comuneros barrios) and Pasto, Nariño department (one survey), Colombia, to gather relevant information to be used to target effective communications to this population about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccine. Norte de Santander department, on the northeast border with Venezuela, is the major point of entry into Colombia from Venezuela. Nariño department, located on the southwest border with Ecuador, is the major point of exit for Venezuelans across the international border. Surveys included 926 respondents (Table 1). Eleven focus groups were conducted concurrent with surveys. Fieldwork was conducted in late August and early September 2021. Vaccine availability for Venezuelan migrants in Colombia was very limited at that time, but has recently become broader.