57% of not boosted adults unlikely to take the precaution dose in the next 3 months
- ● 14% of them are willing to take it if the precaution dose is made free
- ● 42% people who have not taken it yet are not convinced about the benefits of the precaution dose
July 7th, 2022, New Delhi: There has been a steady rise in the COVID cases across the country, with average daily reported cases now between 15,000-18,000 and the test positivity rate (TPR) nearing 5%, which is nearly a 7-fold jump in cases from 2500 cases 6 weeks back. And this is when, nearly 70% of the individuals with symptoms are either not testing or doing the at home Rapid Antigen Test and hence missing from the official numbers. The rise in COVID cases is being experienced in 20 states currently. With BA.2.12.1 and newer Delta-Omicron recombinants like BA.4, BA.5 and now BA.2.75 also being reported in India and literally no restrictions and compliance to COVID norms, the risk of spread is once again rising.
Meanwhile, the Government of India under the nationwide vaccination programme has so far inoculated over 198 crore doses. Of which, more than 4.5 crore precaution doses have been administered to all citizens above 18-year-olds as of July 6th. However, less than 1 in 5 eligible Indians have taken the precaution dose so far and many citizens have been writing on the LocalCircles platform that they or their family members are currently hesitant to take the booster shot as they are not convinced if the current COVID vaccines are effective against the new Omicron variants. Some others are not willing to take the same via a private vaccination center as it comes at a cost. Though a few states have made the precaution dose free, majority of the states have private hospitals charging for it.
To understand the reasons from those who haven’t yet taken the precaution or booster dose, LocalCircles conducted a survey to understand citizens’ pulse on their approach to taking the precaution dose in the coming 3 months given that the booster is available at private centers. The survey received 15,263 responses from residents across 351 districts of India. 66% respondents were men while 34% respondents were women. 42% respondents were from tier 1, 30% from tier 2 and 28% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
57% of not boosted adults unlikely to take the precaution dose via private vaccination centers in the next 3 months
A day before the booster dose was allowed for all population above 18, vaccine makers, Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India (SII), makers of Covaxin and Covishield, decided to reduce the price of their booster shots to INR 225 per dose. The change in prices was announced after the Union Government decided that private CVCs can charge only up to a maximum of INR 150 as service charge for vaccination over and above the cost of vaccine. Interested adults can now avail a booster shot from private centers paying these price after 9 months of getting their first shot. However, many adults are still not willing to take the precaution dose.
The question in the survey asked citizens, “The Government has now opened precaution dose for all adults on a payment basis via private vaccination centers. Given that, would you be taking the dose in the coming 3 months and why?” In response, 28% said “(1) Yes, will be taking it for additional COVID protection reason”, 2% also said “(2) Yes, will be taking it as I need to travel overseas and foreign country requirements demand recent vaccination”. Furthermore, 13% of citizens said they take the booster dose for “Both 1 & 2” reasons. However, 14% said they “Will not be taking it till it becomes free”. 38% said they “Do not plan to take it for now as not convinced about benefits”, and 4% “Haven’t even taken the 1st and 2nd dose”. 1% have not yet decided. On an aggregate basis, 57% of not boosted adults are unlikely to take the precaution dose via private vaccination centers in the next 3 months. This question in the survey received 15,263 responses.
In summary, 57% of not boosted adults are unlikely to take the precaution dose via private vaccination centers in the next 3 months while only 43% of not boosted adults are likely to take the precaution during the period. 42% are clear that they are not convinced about its benefits at all, out of which 4% haven’t even taken the first and second dose. However, there is an additional 14% that will take it if it is made free.
LocalCircles will share the findings of the survey with Government stakeholders so that Central and State Governments can take appropriate action.
The survey received 15,263 responses from residents across 351 districts of India. 66% respondents were men while 34% respondents were women. 42% respondents were from tier 1, 30% from tier 2 and 28% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.