The demand for a COVID-19 vaccine in Ecuador
In Latin America, the country of Ecuador was one of the first and most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to evaluate the demand for a COVID-19 vaccine in Ecuador by estimating individuals’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the vaccine, and by assessing the effect of vaccine attributes (duration of protection and efficacy) and individuals’ characteristics on this valuation. The sample used (N = 1,050) was obtained through an online survey conducted from April 2 to April 7, 2020. Two levels of vaccine efficacy (70% and 98%) and two levels of vaccine duration of protection (1 and 20 years) were considered. The willingness to pay estimates were obtained using a double-bounded dichotomous-choice contingent valuation format. Survey results show that a very large proportion of individuals (at least 97%) were willing to accept a COVID-19 vaccine, and at least 85% of individuals were willing to pay a positive amount for that vaccine. Conservative estimates of the average WTP values ranged from USD 147.61 to 196.65 and the median WTP from USD 76.9 to 102.5. Only the duration of protection was found to influence individuals’ WTP for the vaccine (p < 0.01). On average, respondents were willing to pay 30% more for a COVID-19 vaccine with 20 years of protection relative to the vaccine with 1 year of protection. Regression results show that WTP for the vaccine was associated with income, employment status, the perceived probability of needing hospitalization if contracting the virus causing COVID-19, and region of residence.