The year 2020 has passed, the pandemic hasn’t. However, the glimmer of hope is that several vaccines have been rolled out across the world and many countries, including the USA and the UK, have started the vaccination process. However, some amount of apprehension has been reported in people as they fear reactions and allergies to the vaccine.
In India, the dry run has been conducted in several states and the country gears up for the mammoth task of inoculation. But the one hope that’s keeping everyone together is that a return to the old normal may soon be possible.
How quickly are Indians going to respond to the vaccine? A survey conducted by YouGov in association with News18 reveals that Indians have been waiting for the vaccine ever since the pandemic pushed us indoors. The majority of Indians in the survey conducted among 1015 urban Indian respondents said that they are likely to take that shot in the arm as soon as the vaccine is available.
According to the survey, 68% of urban Indians are keen on taking the vaccine once it becomes available for all. Only 8% have shown reluctance in taking the vaccine, while 24% said they are unsure.
But what about the availability of the vaccine? Majority (over 52%) of people are hopeful that the vaccine will be available for the general masses early this year, while 36% think it will be available by the middle of 2021. (May to August). Only 12% said it will be the latter half of this year (September- December) when a vaccine for Covid-19 will be available for everyone.
In the first phase, the massive vaccination drive will cover almost as many people as the entire US population. The central government has identified 300 million people to receive the first doses of the vaccine. The priority group is made up of 30 million health care workers, policemen, soldiers and volunteers, and 270 million vulnerable people — mostly citizens above the age of 50 and 10 million others with serious comorbidities.
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When it comes to the actual vaccination process, India already has a vast, established network under its Universal Immunization Program, which inoculates about 55 million people per year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also suggested that the country can draw from its experience of organizing the world’s largest democratic elections, adopting a whole of society approach that involves the participation of states, districts, civil society, citizens and experts.
“Every single Indian who needs to be vaccinated will be vaccinated,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said at a news conference on December 8.