By Ashish Srivastava
New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) The national data on the countrywide Covid immunization programme has revealed that women have outnumbered men in availing the vaccine shots. The data extracted from the CoWIN application shows that the number of females inoculated with the vaccines so far is greater than the men in many states and union territories (UT)s.
A gender-wise beneficiaries break-up sourced from the CoWIN dashboard showed that the trend of women getting more vaccinated went as high as 78 per cent in 28 out of 36 states and UTs. Besides, in many parts of the country, more than two-third of the vaccine beneficiaries remained female.
In Lakshadweep, of the total vaccination accounted, 78.2 per cent was contributed by women alone. Similarly, it was calculated 75 per cent in Himachal pradesh, followed by Chhattisgarh (74.3), Kerala (74), Assam (73.8), Andaman and Nicobar islands (70), Ladakh (70), Sikkim, Mizoram (70), Bihar(69.5), Arunachal pradesh (69.5) and Meghalaya (68.15).
As per the data, women seem to be more open to vaccination in these states and UTs since they constitute more than 2/3rd of the vaccine coverage here.
Dr. Nand Kumar, professor, department of psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, said that at a first glance, it appears that the dominance of the female gender is driving the high ratio of being them the most beneficiaries of the vaccines.
“One immediate conclusion that could be drawn is that we have more female grassroots health workers than male workers. ASHAs, ANMs, Anganwadi workers are all women. Nurses, health professionals and paramedics are also predominantly women. So, if we look at the current priority of the government for vaccination, which is the healthcare workers, the numbers are bound to remain higher at the women’s side,” he said.
However, Kumar added that if looked deeper, one can find the psyche of women which could also be driving their high participation in the immunization drive, i.e, their tendency to remain more secure in their lives.
“The women tend to remain more secure in life. All over the world, women prefer safety and security in all walks of life. Psychologically, they don’t indulge in or adopt risk-taking behaviours. Being more health-conscious, less intake of alcohol or smoking, are few of the virtues to remain low at risk. This psyche drives them to be more open to the vaccination. Besides, they are quick in taking decisions as well and given a chance to build immunity against the Covid-19, they won’t take much time to decide.
However, could it be possible that the males are more unwilling to get the vaccination? Responding to it, Dr. Amulya K. Seth, psychologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, said that the gender imbalance in Covid-19 vaccination has more to do with women’s psyche than the possibility of willingness and unwillingness for vaccination.
He said that by nature, women are more careful about their own health as well as of the family, and this phenomenon could be resulting in better outcomes in women.
“Covid-19 as a disease has shown us the importance of being considerate about oneself as well as people around them. By nature, women fit this criteria more since traditionally they are the ones who take care of children and family, and are more careful about their own health for the sake of people they care for,” Seth explained.
He also said that the message that the Covid-19 vaccines provide protection to oneself as well as those around them has penetrated more among the women than men and should be probed so that a parity is maintained when the vaccines are rolled for the general public.
So far, more than 8.5 million (87,20,822) doses of corona vaccine have been administered in India since the drive began on January 16 after approval for ‘Covishield’ and ‘Covaxin’.