Two independent surveys show significant level of indecisiveness among general public over COVID-19 vaccination. While a telephonic survey conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) within the national capital territory (NCR) region of Delhi shows 39 per cent of the respondents were hesitant about administering the vaccine, community social media platform LocalCircles' nationwide online survey puts the hesitancy level at 62 per cent. Both surveys suggest the need for wider awareness programmes by the government to ensure the success of its COVID-19 vaccination drive.
The findings of NCAER survey suggest that about 20 per cent of the respondents are certain about not taking the vaccine. An additional four per cent of respondents mentioned that they will not take it as they are already infected while another 15 per cent remained unsure about taking the vaccine. Meanwhile, LocalCircles stated that the percentage of respondents hesitant to go for vaccination came down from 69 per cent in an earlier suvey conducted in December 2020 to 62 per cent in the January 2021 survey. About 59 per cent of the respondents pointed unknown side-effects as the primary reason for them to avoid the taking any of the vaccine as of now. There were some who felt no need for vaccine as COVID-19 is going away anyways. The emergence of new coronavirus strains and questions over the effectiveness of the vaccine on those strains was another factor.
The NCAER survey was conducted by 32 interviewers over a period of ten days, December 23, 2020- January 04, 2021. The survey resulted in 3,168 completed interviews with an overall response rate of 61.2 per cent from all phone numbers called, excluding 74 cases of out of sample that are currently not living in Delhi NCR. The households contacted are from Delhi as well as rural and urban areas from selected districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. The LocalCircles survey received over 17,000 responses from people located in 230 districts of India.