New Delhi: While the Central Government has geared up for the vaccination drive, more than 50 per cent of India's population has expressed caution towards taking the coronavirus vaccine, a survey revealed on Thursday.
The survey holds importance at a time when questions are being raised on both the safety and efficacy of the vaccines being developed at a phenomenal rate as the world struggles to find a silver bullet to end its pandemic woes.
The survey was conducted with approximately 11,000 respondents to understand the openness to take the vaccine, the perception of the government measures to combat Covid-19, possible future measures including a lockdown.
About 53 per cent of the population is unsure about taking COVID-19 vaccine, the survey by GOQii stated.
Out of them, 43 per cent revealed that they are not sure and will only make a solid opinion post initial results about the effectiveness of the vaccine is revealed while 10 per cent are firmly against taking the vaccine as of now.
On an optimistic note, 47 per cent of the respondents said that they are willing to take the vaccine and are actually waiting for it. Women are more cautious than men with 48 per cent of the male population willing to get vaccinated while the female readiness is around 42 per cent.
With age, the willingness to take the vaccine reduces. The older adults (45-60) and seniors (60+) are not as ready as the younger age groups. This may be due to concerns about complications post taking it.
As many as eight Covid-19 vaccine candidates are under different stages of clinical trials which could be ready for authorisation in near future, including three indigenous vaccines.
It includes Astrazeneca and Oxford university developed and Serum Institute of India manufactured Covishield, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech Limited, ZyCoV-D by Zydus Cadila, Russian vaccine candidate Sputnik-V, NVX-CoV2373 by SII, HGCO19 by Geneva, and two unlabelled vaccines-Recombinant Protein Antigen based vaccine by Biological E Limited-and Inactivated rabies vector platform by Bharat Biotech.
According to the survey, 50 per cent of the respondents feel that Central Government's initiatives have been effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19 while 25 per cent people believe that the State Government initiatives have been effective. Only 22% of citizens recognise the efforts of the local Government in terms of effectiveness.
Notably, 66 per cent of the population surveyed believed the current method or opening up slowly is the way forward while 34 per cent feel that a complete lockdown should be introduced again.
About 25 per cent have a positive opinion about the current partial lockdown and think that it should continue in a similar manner.
While 31 per cent want things to return back to normal but only in a gradual way, wherein restriction will be loosened very cautiously and while monitoring the numbers. 10 per cent of people who said that there should be no restrictions and things should go back to normal.