India is experiencing hesitant behavior from citizens towards COVID-19 vaccine, after government trying harder to convince them

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Last year was a nightmare for all of us when Covid-19 pandemic hit and killed millions of people across the globe. People were terrified and countries were shut. Medical practitioners were working day and night to find a vaccine. And now when they are successful in bringing the vaccine for the virus, people are being skeptical and not vaccinating themselves due to undescribed reasons. Some people are expressing it as their choice and are stepping back from this process.

India has started its vaccination process along with other countries like The United Arab Emirates and America. Started on 16th January in India, medical aid workers were the first one to get vaccinated. Addressing the National Metrology Conclave virtually on 4th January, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, ‘The new year has brought new achievements as India’s scientists have succeeded in producing two indigenous COVID-19 vaccines. The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination Programme is set to begin in India. The country is proud of the contributions of its scientists for this. Every Indian is indebted to our scientists and technicians’.

Two vaccines have been given emergency approval for India’s immunization Programme, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine known in India as Covishield and a domestic product Covaxin™, developed by the pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech.  

But now according to a survey by local circles, 62% of Indians are not ready to get vaccinated as for now. whereas 32% are in favor of getting it and 6% said, they are ready whenever it will be available for citizens. As per the statistics of the survey, 22% of them said, they will wait for three months and then will take a decision. 14% said, they will wait for 3 to 6 months and others said will wait for 6 to 12 months before getting ready for it. When people were asked about the hesitation and their denial behavior towards the vaccine, they said its all because of the strange side effects we can have through it. But the people who conducted the survey observed the hesitation for the vaccines has been decreased in the recent survey up to 10% which is a positive sight.

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38 years old Sushma said, “I was very happy when I read the news of vaccine and that now this whole Corona virus will disappear. But I am not ready to get myself vaccinated yet. I am being a little scared because of the side effects we are seeing on televisions and other platforms.” According to Sushma, videos and pictures that are circulating on WhatsApp chats are horrifying and she or her family doesn’t want to take any risk.

The hesitation in people is all over in India. According to reports, states like Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Telangana recorded decrease in statistics of people for vaccination up to 50% as compared to planned one. The figures came out after state administration gave brief to central administration about the status of the Programme. The health workers who were suppose to be vaccinated firstly as per the Programme, are keeping themselves away from the process. Central government is trying their best to convince health workers to not doubt on vaccine and become a role model for every other person.

40 years old Vipin who is a health worker said, “I don’t know why people are being hesitant and are not getting themselves vaccinated. We were all praying for this moment from last year and now when it has come, I will definitely get myself vaccinated for every one who thinks it is not safe.”

6.31 lakhs Indians have been vaccinated as per now, out of which 0.09% people suffered little problems. Vaccination companies, Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech reminded people that who are suffering from bleeding, fever, allergy from a food item or medicines should avoid these vaccines. Pregnant ladies or the one who are breastfeeding, the ones who are taking medicines to increase the immunity or to convert their blood thinner should also avoid getting themselves vaccinated.

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National capital of the country, New Delhi is also experiencing slow speed of vaccination Programme. Administration has now changed its strategies because of not getting the planned result and are coming up with a special campaign to spread the awareness regarding vaccination and will motivate the health workers to come and get it. They are trying to complete the vaccination Process for health workers as soon as possible so that the Programme for frontline warriors can be started. Even the people who have been vaccinated already are being asked to share their experience through making a small video byte and to share it on different social media platforms. 

We are seeing this hesitant behavior towards COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. People are terrified with the side effects and on the top of it, when a President says, “We are not responsible for any side effects, if you turn into a crocodile, its your problem”, what can you expect?

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Shefali Ranawat is an Eat News correspondent in India. She want to be the voice of people. Also, she aim to be a war correspondent.


Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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