Indian public continues to be hesitant of a 'quick COVID-19 vaccination', suggests a followup survey conducted by LocalCircles, a community social media platform. A majority of the respondents are also wary of vaccines getting sold through unauthorised channels.
Of the 8,936 respondents, 59 percent said they will not rush to vaccinate themselves against the pandemic even if it is made available by February 2021. The results of the current survey conducted in November is more or less the same as the one carried out a month ago.
In October, LocalCircles found 61 percent of the respondents surveyed were not keen to go for early vaccination. The sentiment remains the same even after at least three companies announced positive results, though preliminary, of the clinical trials of their potential COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
To the question whether they fear the risk of black marketing post approval of the vaccine, 72 percent of the 8,934 respondents said there is a high risk of it being sold in the black market.
When asked about their approach if a vaccine is available from February 2021 via private and government channels, 8 percent of the respondents said they are in the priority list and expect the government to take care of the vaccination. Another 13 percent said they "will get it as quickly as it becomes available via any healthcare channel" while 11 percent said they "will get it as quickly as it becomes available via private healthcare channel". However, 59 percent said that they won't rush to take the COVID-19 vaccine even if it is available in the near future.
The third question posed by the survey was whether the vaccine rollout should happen only after a digital platform is introduced with the use of a unique serial number to track the supply of the vaccine from factory to administration to citizens. To this, of the 7,786 responses, 65 percent said the vaccine should not be rolled out till a digital platform to track every dose from factory to final administration to citizens is functional.
Overall, LocalCircles received more than 25,000 responses from people across 262 districts of India. While 69 percent of them were men, 55 percent were from tier 1 cities.
Since the inception of the pandemic, LocalCircles has been gathering citizens' inputs on various issues in regards to the Covid outbreak. In July 2020, the platform alerted the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on blackmarketing of Remdesivir, leading to immediate issuance of an order by the DCGI to all state drug controllers asking them to up enforcement against the same.