Over 57% of adults want precaution doses for free: New study

On an aggregate basis, 57% of not boosted adults are unlikely to take the precaution dose via private vaccination centers in the next 3 months. This question in the survey received 15,263 responses.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  8 July 2022 4:20 AM GMT
Over 57% of adults want precaution doses for free: New study

A new study has revealed that 57% of adults are unlikely to take the precaution doses unless they are complimentary.

LocalCircles study revealed that 28% of people said that they will take the precaution dose in the next 3 months and 2% of people said that they will take it as they need to travel overseas.

Furthermore, 13% of citizens said they take the booster dose for both safety and travel. However, 14% said they will not be taking it until it becomes free. Around 38% said they do not plan to take the dose because they are not convinced about the benefits. Around 4% of people said that they haven't even taken the 1st and 2nd dose. 1% are yet to decide.

On an aggregate basis, 57% of not boosted adults are unlikely to take the precaution dose via private vaccination centers in the next 3 months. This question in the survey received 15,263 responses.

LocalCircles surveyed to understand citizens' pulse on their approach to taking the precaution dose in the coming 3 months given that the booster is available at private centers.

The survey received 15,263 responses from residents across 351 districts of India. 66% of respondents were men while 34% of respondents were women. 42% of respondents were from tier 1 cities, 30% from tier 2 cities, and 28% of respondents were from tier 3, 4, and rural districts.

To put it in a nutshell, 57% of not boosted adults are unlikely to take the precaution dose unless they are made free. Currently, precaution doses are available at private vaccination centers only. Only 43% of not boosted adults are likely to take the precaution during the period. 42% are clear that they are not convinced about its benefits at all, out of which 4% haven't even taken the first and second dose. However, there is an additional 14% that will take it if it is made free.

Less than 1 in 5 eligible Indians have taken the precaution dose so far and many citizens have been writing on the LocalCircles platform that they or their family members are currently hesitant to take the booster shot as they are not convinced if the current COVID vaccines are effective against the new Omicron variants.

Some others are not willing to pay for the doses. Few states have made the precaution dose-free. However, the boosters are available only after payment in private hospitals.

This has been happening in the light of a steady rise in the COVID cases across the country, with average daily reported cases now between 15,000-18,000 and the test positivity rate (TPR) nearing 5%, which is nearly a 7-fold jump in cases from 2500 cases 6 weeks back.

And this is when nearly 70% of the individuals with symptoms are either not testing or doing the at-home Rapid Antigen Test and hence missing from the official numbers. The rise in COVID cases is being experienced in 20 states currently.

With BA.2.12.1 and newer Delta-Omicron recombinants like BA.4, BA.5, and now BA.2.75 also being reported in India and no restrictions and compliance to COVID norms, the risk of spread is once again rising.

According to LocalCircles, the Centre under the nationwide vaccination program has so far inoculated over 198 crore doses. Of which, more than 4.5 crore precaution doses have been administered to all citizens above 18-year-olds as of July 6.

A day before the booster dose was allowed for all populations above 18, vaccine makers, Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India (SII), makers of Covaxin and Covishield, decided to reduce the price of their booster shots to Rs 225 per dose.

Union Government decided that private CVCs can charge only up to a maximum of Rs 150 as a service charge for vaccination over and above the cost of the vaccine. Interested adults can now avail of a booster shot from private centers paying these prices after 9 months of getting their first shot. However, many adults are still not willing to take the precautionary dose.

LocalCircles stated that it will share the findings of the survey with Government stakeholders so that central and state governments can take appropriate action.

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