India enters day 7 of the ‘world’s largest vaccination drive” today and for the first time since June 2020, the number of active coronavirus cases in India have come below 2 lakh. More than 6.31 individuals from priority groups have taken the jab until now but it is far below the average set by the government.
As the immunization drive against the virus continues, there seems to be a ‘vaccine hesitancy’ prevailing amongst the healthcare workers. The main reason for this is coming out to be the lack of efficacy data for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin in the public domain. Since the vaccine is still under trial, data about its safety is not available unlike Covishield which seems to have more certainty amongst doctors and other workers.
According to reports, until now 11% of 61 lakh healthcare workers in India have been inoculated. Nagaland, Haryana, Odisha, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are the top states in which most number of individuals have been vaccinated. On the other hand, lowest number of beneficiaries to show up for vaccination are reported in Ladakh, Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
To prove the efficacy of Covaxin high level doctors like NITI Ayog member Vinod Paul and AIIMS, Delhi director Randeep Guleria have administered the vaccine but it has failed to diminish the reluctance in the fraternity. Dr Randeep Guleria in a statement said, “Initially, health care workers were very keen to get the vaccine.” He added, “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.”
Some vaccine centers are also re-accommodating the workers who couldn’t show up for their first appointment.