Four In 10 Adults Over 70-Years Show Vaccine Hesitancy, Says Study

Image Credits: The Times Of India

The Logical Indian Crew

Four In 10 Adults Over 70-Years Show Vaccine Hesitancy, Says Study

The survey, commissioned by the central government, was conducted over the phone with more than 4000 participants from 18 states and union territories.

A survey commissioned by the central government found that four in ten unvaccinated adults in the 70-plus age group were hesitant to take COVID-19 vaccines.

The survey also highlighted that 57% of unvaccinated people above 70 years were concerned with the safety or efficacy of the vaccine. While 29% of them believed they were too old to get vaccinated. According to the World Health Organization(WHO), vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccine despite the availability of vaccine services.

Older adults have been found to be at high risk for developing severe forms of viral illness. Therefore, experts have emphasized the need to counter vaccine hesitancy among the elderly. Due to the existing reluctance, hardly 50% of India's 138 million people in the 60-plus age group have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

About The Survey

The survey commissioned survey was conducted over the phone where more than 4000 people participated in it, as reported by Hindustan Times. Besides the elderly participant, a nominated family member or a friend was also interviewed as an informant.

According to Dr AB Dey, head of the geriatrics department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, the survey participants were among those who were already enrolled for the Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI) from 18 states and union territories. LASI is a study commission by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2016 to track ageing patterns and diseases affecting India's elderly. AIIMS, Delhi, was assigned as the nodal centre for the study.

The Reason Behind Hesitancy

The survey noted that the main reasons for vaccine hesitancy in India are concerns regarding its safety and effectiveness, mistrust in the government and the companies, and being too old to receive the vaccination. It also highlighted the need for raising awareness of immunization on the ground among the older generation because they are at higher risk.

Public health expert Dr Chandrakant Lahariya stressed the importance of finding the root cause of vaccine hesitancy to overcome it successfully. He suggested that a thorough exercise needs to be done, keeping in mind that people come from different areas, belong to different sections of the society, and from different age groups. According to him, the reasons for being hesitant towards vaccination are different.

Also Read: The Many Challenges Of Vaccinating World's Second Most Populous Country

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