While chances of an affordable Covid-19 vaccine being available by February 2021 may seem high, 59 per cent of people have said they won’t rush to take it, according to a recent survey. The online survey conducted by LocalCircles, received more than 25,000 responses from across 262 districts of India, of which 69 per cent respondents were men and 31 per cent were women. The survey responses were also compared to responses to a similar survey conducted in October.
Scientists from around the world, including India, are developing several vaccines that are at different stages of clinical trials.
The first question in the survey asked, “The COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be available from February 2021 via private and Government channels. If that happens, what will be your approach to taking this vaccine?”.
Responses from 8,936 citizens were received. Of which, 8% said “I am a health or frontline worker and will get it on priority through the Government”, 13% said “will get it as quickly as it becomes available via any healthcare channel”, 11% said “will get it as quickly as it becomes available via private healthcare channel”. Another 59% of respondents said that they will not rush to take the COVID-19 vaccine even if it is available in the near future.
Perception COVID-19 vaccine hasn’t changed since October
The perception of the majority of citizens sceptical on taking COVID-19 vaccine hasn’t changed much as compared to the result of the survey conducted in mid-October by LocalCircles. 61% of 8,312 voters at the time had said they are sceptical about COVID-19 vaccine and will not rush to take it in 2021 even if it is available.
High risk of black-marketing
In July, Indians via LocalCircles raised the issue of an urgent need to develop serial number tracking of COVID-19 vaccine to avoid any black marketing and to track the vaccine from point of manufacturing to the point of administration.
The key action needed here by both the pharmaceutical industry and the Government is to keep citizens updated at every step about the vaccine via various media platforms so when a safe vaccine does arrive, the Indian citizenry is ready to take it.
8 months of pendamic
Respondents were also asked how they feel mentally after eight months into the Covid-19 pandemic. Of 8,590 respondents, 33 per cent said they feel anxious or worried, 19 per cent said calm and happy, 13 per cent said depressed, 5 per cent said enthusiastic, 20 per cent said they were feeling thankful, while 10 per cent said none of the above.
Pandemic induced lifestyle
To understand if people are tired of the new pandemic induced lifestyle, LocalCircles asked people, “How long do you think you can easily sustain this post-Covid way of living with restriction?”
Out of 8,496 citizens participated, of which 38 per cent said they are willing to live the Covid-19 way of living for as long as it takes, while 23 per cent said they are already tired of the restrictions.
While 14 per cent each said till December 31, 2020, and till March 31, 2021, 6 per cent said till June 30, 2021, 2 per cent said till September 30, 2021, and 3 per cent said till Dec 31, 2021.
India is currently in the fifth phase of unlocking, which has seen most restrictions removed. The Unlock 5.0 guidelines allow states and union territories to take a call on determining the capacity of people allowed to gather, along with the call to open schools, cinemas, multiplexes, among others.
While the Central and State Governments are permitting various services like markets, restaurants, metros, multiplexes, markets, parks etc. to operate the general guidelines are still to minimize social interactions, maximize social distancing, always wear a mask when out of home and in general avoid crowded public places.
These restrictions have led to a change in lifestyle for the majority of the people across the country. Work from Home model has been implemented by many businesses, also leading to a significant change in the lifestyles of their employees.