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60% Indians still hesitant towards Covid-19 vaccine, shows survey

The percentage of Indian citizens hesitant to take the Covid-19 vaccine has dropped from 69 per cent to 60 per cent in 3 weeks, a survey conducted by LocalCircles revealed.

According to the findings, now 60 per cent polled citizens are hesitant to take the Covid-19 vaccine immediately.

In October 2020, LocalCircles survey had indicated that 61 per cent of citizens were hesitant to get the vaccine shot. This percentage declined to 59 per cent in the November survey.

Thereafter, the uncertainty over side-effects and efficacy of vaccines, vis-a-vis reports of adverse events during its trial, startle several citizens. This eventually resulted in an increase in the percentage to 69 per cent in the survey conducted in December. This number was maintained till the first week of January.

The percentage of hesitant citizens declined from 69 per cent in the first week of January to 62 per cent during the week starting from January 18 to 60 per cent during the week of January 25.

WHAT IS THE REASON FOR HESITANCY?

The survey showed that uncertainty over side effects is the top reason for vaccine hesitancy amongst Indian citizens.

While 59 per cent of polled citizens said "side effects not known" was the primary reason for their hesitancy towards Covid-19 vaccine, 14 per cent said that uncertainty around the efficacy of vaccines is the reason why they were hesitant.

Only 4 per cent said they don't need the vaccine because Covid-19 pandemic is going away anyway and other 4 per cent believed that the current vaccine may evade upcoming strains of the novel coronavirus and hence, they were hesitant.

indiatoday

When people were asked about their willingness to take the vaccine immediately, 36 per cent said they have already taken either a shot of Covishield or Covaxin, or will take it.

Another 4 per cent of the polled Indians said they will take the vaccine whenever it is available via private hospitals or channels.

Further breaking down the poll, 28 per cent of citizens said they will wait up to 3 months and then decide; 16 per cent said they will wait up to 3 to 6 months; 7 per cent said 6 to 12 months; 3 per cent said they will wait for more than 12 months and then decide in 2022; 6 per cent said they will not take it at all.

This tally showed that 60 per cent of citizens are still hesitant to take it immediately.

WHO SAID WHAT

The last LocalCircles vaccine hesitancy survey released on January 19, 2021, indicated that 62 per cent of citizens were still hesitant towards Covid-19 vaccination.

The majority of professionals in the survey maintained that they are worried about side-effects, or not sure about the vaccine's efficacy.

Even a survey amongst healthcare professionals in India indicated that 55 per cent will either defer the vaccination or haven't yet decided what to do.

Since October 2020, LocalCircles has been collecting responses from citizens to know their approach towards taking Covid-19 vaccine.

The survey aimed to understand if the percentage of reluctance or hesitancy has increased, declined or remains unchanged along with reasons for hesitancy.

Amid all developments, LocalCircles has conducted another survey to measure the change in the last one week.

The survey received approximately 17,000 response from citizens located in over 213 districts of India.

INDIA'S VACCINATION DRIVE

India kicked off the world's largest Covid-19 vaccination, with frontline workers being the first to get the vaccine shot.

Nearly 20 lakh frontline health workers in India have been inoculated with one of the two vaccines approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) -- Covishield and Covaxin -- so far. Meanwhile, less than 1,000 adverse events have been reported.

India's vaccination drive has also been the fastest with over 10 lakh (or 1 million) vaccines administered in the first 6 days. In comparison, the United Kingdom took 10 days to reach the million mark, while it took the USA 18 days to reach the same milestone.

In a bid to drastically reduce fears over side effects and efficacy of these two vaccines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many chief ministers and Members of Parliament above 50 years of age are likely to take the vaccine in the second phase of the drive around May 2021. 

Referencee: IndiaToday: Milan Sharma  

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