General vaccine trends in India 3

Nanditha KalidossinWeekly Update
Mar 28, 2021

1.  Common Misinformation:

  •  In a recent YouTube video interview, Dr. Bishwaroop Roy Chowdhury claims that the aluminum that is commonly used adjuvant, which is an ingredient used in some vaccines to help create a stronger immunological response in people, can lead to autism. However, upon further research, it has been found that such a research paper published first in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry has been retracted owing to incorrect methodologies and even fake data.

2.  Over performing/common trends in the last week:

  • CrowdTangle Insights from the previous week shows a peak in interest in vaccinations in India. The news on UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ praise on “Indian vaccine making capacity as an asset to the world & the need of the hour” has overperformed by 41.67 times
  •  In the Southern media especially among the Telugu channels, Upasana Kamineni Konidela, an eminent member of a Tollywood cinema family, has taken the vaccine shot and has promoted the safety and the efficacy of the vaccine. This post has overperformed by 49.12 times in the past week. The ‘celebrity effect’ is a prominent measure to influence people for vaccine uptake and combat vaccine hesitancy. However, more data is required to substantiate the claim and assess the hypothesis of the celebrity effect; its causation, and correlation.
  •  The hashtags #LargestVaccineDrive and #United2FightCorona used by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on various posts have been trending but especially on Republic Day (January 26, 2020), the posts have overperformed by 179.22 times and 100.30 times.

3.  On ground Surveys on Vaccine Hesitancy:

  • According to GOQii survey, 53% of the approximately 11,000 respondents to GOQii COVID-19 – The Way Forward survey are unsure about taking COVID-19 vaccine. More than 50 percent of India’s population is expressing caution towards taking the vaccine. The remaining 43 percent of the respondents are not sure and will only make a solid opinion post initial results about the effectiveness of the vaccine are revealed while 10 percent are firmly against taking the vaccine as of now.
  • Gender Bias: There could be a gender bias, with female respondents to the survey reportedly more cautious than men with 48 percent of the male population willing to get vaccinated while the female readiness is around 42 percent.
  • Age factor: Expectedly, with age, the willingness to take the vaccine reduces. The older adults (45-60 years) and seniors (60+ years) segments are not as ready as the younger age groups. This may be due to concerns about complications post taking it.
  •  Government Efforts: According to the COVID-19 Impact – In the Way Forward study, 50 percent of the approximately 11000 respondents feel that the Central Government initiatives have been effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19 while 25 percent of the people surveyed believe that the State Government initiatives have been effective. Only 22 percent of citizens recognize the efforts of the Local Government in terms of effectiveness.

Sources: Here, here, here, and here

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