Only 7 per cent Indian adults are currently hesitant to getting inoculated against COVID-19, the lowest vaccine hesitancy level in the country so far, according to a new survey. The study conducted by the online community platform LocalCircles received 12,810 responses from citizens — 67 per cent men and 33 per cent women — across 301 districts.
It sought to understand from unvaccinated citizens their reasons for not taking the jab and their plan on getting inoculated. As much as 42 per cent respondents were from tier 1, 27 per cent from tier-2 and 31 per cent from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
India has an adult population of 94 crore, and approximately 68 crore have already taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The responses suggest that overall 46 per cent of the unvaccinated citizens plan to take their first dose soon, said Sachin Taparia, the founder of LocalCircles said.
There were, however, 27% of citizens who do not plan to take the vaccine yet as they are not convinced whether the currently available ones provide enough protection from the current and future variants of coronavirus, he said. These 27% are what can be classified as hesitant population, he said.
They may take the vaccine if more data become available or if different vaccines become available, he said. ”If the entire adult population of India is taken into consideration, the survey shows that only 7 per cent of them are currently hesitant. If these percentages are applied to the unvaccinated population of 26 crore adults, it amounts to 7 crore citizens still hesitant to take the vaccine,” Taparia said.
Safety concerns, quick clinical trials, rushed vaccine approvals, side-effects were among apprehensions expressed by some citizens for their hesitancy, according to the survey report.
Some respondents with a medical condition also cited concerns of potential blood-clotting. Some also cited COVID going away as the reason for them to not get vaccinated, the survey found. According to the feedback received, there are also certain other myths and misinformation holding people from taking the vaccine. When the vaccination drive began in India in January, the vaccine hesitancy stood at 60% which drastically reduced during the brutal second Covid wave that hit India in April-May.