ABILITY TO PAY AND WILLINGNESS TO PAY FOR COVID-19 VACCINATION: ARE WE READY?
Vaccinations were considered to be among the most effective way in preventing further COVID-19 transmission. To date, the manufactures of vaccines were in the third phase of clinical trial studies. However, the extent to which the publics are able to pay and willing to pay for this vaccine remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the ability to pay (ATP) and willingness to pay (WTP) for COVID-19 vaccination in Malaysia. A cross sectional study was conducted among 67 staff of a public university in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan. The ATP and WTP were obtained through an open and close-ended method via either face-to-face interview or telephone-based interview. For the open-ended method, the mean (SD) ATP and WTP values recorded were USD 52.35 (620.83) and USD 52.08 (620.82) respectively. As for the close-ended, the mean (SD) ATP and WTP values recorded were USD 52.08 (620.82) and USD 32.38 (147.97) respectively. Through closed-ended method, lower ATP and WTP values were recorded compared with open-ended method, as the respondents are able to negotiate through a bidding process to get the best price of vaccine. Female, Malay, married, permanent staff and respondents with side-income respondents recorded higher ATP and WTP values in open-ended method. Nevertheless, except for the side-income, other factors in this study were not statistically significant. Findings from this study could facilitate government to set appropriate market price to ensure the affordability of COVID-19 vaccine and improve its accessibility so that a big proportion of the people will be vaccinated and protected from this disease.
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