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Hesitancy to take Covid-19 vaccine reason for low turnout in India

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2021

The turnout decreased to 3,593 on Monday from 4,319 last Saturday

Around 50 people have received Covid-19 vaccine doses per session across India, half of the expected average set by the government.

This is mainly due to the vaccine hesitancy that made people reluctant to get inoculated with the vaccine.

According to the data released by the Health Ministry, between Saturday and Monday, 381,305 people received vaccine jab in 7,704 sessions. However, many health workers, who were to receive the vaccine, did not turn up.

The total number of vaccinations till Monday was 429,409.

The turnout decreased from 4,319 on Saturday to 3,593 on Monday, barring Sunday. At the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, only eight people were inoculated on Monday. Concerns about vaccine safety have discouraged people to take vaccines.

Dr Randeep Guleria, the director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said “Initially, health care workers were very keen to get the vaccine.”

“But then because of the infodemic, because of things doing the rounds on social media, because of side effects being highlighted more than what they were, it created a lot of anxiety not only among healthcare workers but also with public at large.”

Manohar Aghnani, an additional secretary in the Union health ministry, said 580 cases of adverse reactions from the vaccine have been reported in three days of the vaccine drive.

The Health Ministry maintained that all adverse reactions have been mild, with fleeting symptoms such as nausea and mild fever. Of the 580 – who represent just 0.15 per cent of those vaccinated – seven required hospitalizations, as per media reports.

Meanwhile, both vaccine manufacturers -- Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech -- have released factsheets about their vaccine and advised people with certain health conditions to be cautious while being inoculated.

 

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Published on January 20, 2021
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