New Delhi: Around 12 per cent of India’s unvaccinated population doesn’t intend to take the Covid-19 vaccine “at all” even as the country faces the prospect of a third wave, a new survey report by LocalCircles said.
In the survey of those yet to be vaccinated in India, LocalCircles sought to understand the people’s approach towards taking the vaccine, and the level of hesitancy that exists.
According to the survey report, 29 per cent people plan to take their first dose of the vaccine soon.
Twenty-four per cent don’t plan to take the vaccine yet as they are not convinced about whether the currently available vaccines provide enough protection from the latest and future variants. They may opt for vaccination if more data, or if different vaccines become available, the survey showed.
Moreover, 23 per cent respondents said a prevailing medical condition prevents them from taking the vaccine while another 12 per cent said they don’t plan to take a shot yet amid concerns over side effects.
The survey received 8,949 responses from people in 279 districts of India — 65 per cent respondents were men and 35 per cent were female. While 48 per cent respondents were from tier 1 cities, 24 per cent from tier 2, and 28 per cent from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
Survey report claims 33 crore may not take vaccine
In a statement released with the survey findings, LocalCircles, an India-based polling company, projected its findings on to the Indian population to claim that 33 crore people in the country are not inclined to take the vaccine.
“If it is assumed that India has 94 crore adult population and 24 crore have received their first dose, it leaves us with 70 crore adults still not vaccinated,” it said.
Applying the survey findings onto this figure, the company said 20.3 crore people may take the vaccine at the first available opportunity, 16.8 crore will await more information, 16.1 crore won’t take due to a prevailing condition, 8.4 crore remain hesitant due to side effects while another 8.4 crore are currently disinclined to take the shot.
The report noted that experts have warned a Covid third wave is likely to hit India in the August-December period, with a more infectious variant called Delta Plus.
“Basis feedback, it appears that many in urban areas are also waiting for more data on Covishield and Covaxin and their efficacy with the Delta and Delta Plus variants and for some of the foreign vaccines to start becoming available before they take the jab,” the report said.
“In rural areas, there are myths and misinformation… For instance, many citizens in a rural district in Assam are suspicious of the vaccine as they believe they will die after taking the jab,” it added.