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HomeHealthNearly 58% unvaccinated Indians still vaccine hesitant, claims Local Circles survey

Nearly 58% unvaccinated Indians still vaccine hesitant, claims Local Circles survey

The survey, based on about 8,600 respondents, however, said the threat of Omicron has led to vaccine hesitancy dropping from November levels.

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New Delhi: The rising fears of the Omicron Covid variant has brought down vaccine hesitancy levels, which, however, is present among a majority of non-vaccinated Indians, according to a poll conducted by Local Circles, a surveying agency based in Noida.

The survey has found that the number of people hesitant to Covid vaccination has reduced from 11.6 crore in November to 6.9 crore in December. But considering India still has 12 crore people left without a single dose, at least 58 per cent of them are vaccine hesitant, going by the numbers provided by Local Circles.

The survey was based on 8,600 respondents hailing from 321 districts in the country. Local Circles, however, refused to share details of their respondents — their income, education levels or social background — on privacy grounds.

Also read: Omicron symptoms mild with or without vaccination, says South Africa doctor who flagged variant

Attitudes to vaccine

The survey was conducted on 8,691  unvaccinated adults — none of whom had received even a single Covid shot. The approved Covid vaccines in India require two doses to be effective.

Of these respondents, only 17 per cent said they will get the vaccine soon, while the rest had reservations. 

About 25 per cent of the respondents said they do not plan to get the vaccine at all. Another 25 per cent are not willing to take the vaccine as they were not convinced of its efficacy against possible future strains.

About 17 per cent said they had an underlying condition, which prevented them from taking the vaccine and about 16 per cent showed reluctance fearing side effects. 

The survey claims 58 per cent are unwilling to take the vaccine but that excludes those who are unsure about its efficacy against possible future variants. 

The way forward

If Local Circles statistics are to be believed, the numbers reluctant to get the Covid vaccine is higher than the entire population of France.

“On an aggregate basis, it is estimated that 6.96 crore Indian citizens are currently not inclined to take the vaccine,” the report said. “It is this population that must be the target of all vaccine awareness, sensitisation and information drives.” 

“India should design a campaign where all unvaccinated are reached out to, and those willing are asked to respond via SMS followed by a visit from a healthcare worker to their doorstep to vaccinate them,” it concluded. “This will maximise results and ensure India can soon move to vaccinating those that are vulnerable, healthcare workers and senior citizens with a 3rd or booster dose.”

Also read: Prioritise 1st & 2nd vaccine dose, but those with low immunity need booster: US epidemiologist


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