Data portraits: Covid-19 vaccine rollout in informal settlements in Harare, Kampala, Lilongwe and Mumbai

Working Paper 6

Kate Lines, Stanley Dzimadzi, Thomas Karakadzai, Edris Lubega, Diana Mitlin, Patience Mudimu-Matsangaise, Vinodkumar Rao, Junior Alves Sebbanja and Happiness Zidana

October 2022


The joint issues of access to, and uptake of, Covid-19 vaccines are still very much alive in the global South. While the pandemic’s health effects for low‑income urban communities have not been insignificant, the results of state responses, carried out without full consideration of poverty consequences, have been very serious. Vaccination in this context is one – among many – ways in which people can reduce risk of further exclusion. This paper reports on a study from Harare, Kampala, Lilongwe and Mumbai by national affiliates of Slum Dwellers International (SDI). Drawing on a series of surveys, our findings provide a snapshot of how global vaccine inequalities played out locally in 21 informal settlements across these cities. Aiming to understand the challenges communities have faced in accessing vaccines, we look at the health context in these settlements, the economic consequences of control measures, the vaccine programmes, residents’ attitudes and hesitancy, and access to information.


Covid-19 vaccines, informal settlements, inequality, health, community data, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, India