Indian Journal of Medical Specialities

: 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 237--238

On changing and challenging landscape of vaccination arena

Harish Gupta1, Nitu Nigam2, Satish Kumar1, Amit Kumar1,  
1 Department of Medicine, KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of CFAR (Cytogenetics Unit), KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harish Gupta
Department of Medicine, KG's Medical University, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh

How to cite this article:
Gupta H, Nigam N, Kumar S, Kumar A. On changing and challenging landscape of vaccination arena.Indian J Med Spec 2021;12:237-238

How to cite this URL:
Gupta H, Nigam N, Kumar S, Kumar A. On changing and challenging landscape of vaccination arena. Indian J Med Spec [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 15 ];12:237-238
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

To make vaccines available to all who need them, governments, manufacturers, and other stakeholders must commit to share and produce more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to protect everyone. For 'Vaccine Equity' is a slogan for the global body, the World Health Organization, in our times where it observes that some people in wealthy countries are getting third dose as a booster -shot whereas most countries in Africa are unable to provide even first shot to its frontline workers.

Sharma and Srivastava conducted their online survey assessing perceptions and beliefs on vaccination for COVID-19 in Delhi by a cross-sectional study in July–September 2021 issue of the Journal. The authors prepared a questionnaire, sent to various participants, obtained their answers, and then analysed its data.[1] Therein under a heading of Methodology, they write that the questionnaire was written in English language. However, at present, various local language input tools are available on Google platform which allow users to prepare a format in Hindi and several other regional languages. Whereas, online surveys are not bound by any geography and there are programs at our disposal to break language barriers too; when COVID-19 is a global challenge in our times, we believe that our response too should not recognize any restraint.

Thereafter under a heading of Results, the authors underscore that a trend was seen with more participants opting for vaccination who had higher income, but it was not statistically significant. Here, we need to interpret the finding with some considerations of our realities. While at present vaccines are available for free to masses, the policy got revision recently. The Central Government enforced price cap on vaccines available for private sector on June 8, 2021. Hence, if those participants opt for vaccination who have higher income, that may have been because they could afford that besides making online registration, which is mandatory for the under 45 age group. Losing one's wage when they go to a vaccination site, wait in a queue before getting an injection, and then wait for half an hour as per protocol, is not an option for many when one is sole breadwinner of a family. Zeynep Tufekci, a Professor of School of Information and Library Sciences at the Department of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill observes a similar phenomenon across the oceans. She states in New York Times on Oct 15 this month that the most powerful predictor of who remains unvaccinated in US was not age, politics, race, income or location. But the lack of health insurance.

As regarding hesitancy, around the world, various studies are being conducted to analyze its reasons. Khubchandani et al. assessed before it was actually available.[2] Troiano and Nardi found that being against vaccines in general was the main reason for deciding not getting it.[3] The US Census Bureau conducts and publishes various surveys in this respect.[4] The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal agency, published a Morbidity and Mortality Report on February 12, 2021, on COVID-19 vaccination intent, perceptions, and reasons for not vaccinating among groups prioritized for early vaccination – the United States, September and December 2020. Just before actual inoculation started there, the agency discovered that concern about side effects and safety of the vaccine was the prime reason for refusing it (then).[5] A study conducted 5 years ago found that in two- party system in the US, those voting for Republicans has a lower percentage coverage among adolescents than those voting for Democrats.[6] Now during COVID times, Republican favoring (Red) States are seeing a surge even when vaccine is available plentifully, although this situation is changing dynamically.[7]

Under a heading of Discussion, the authors write that in the US, the vaccine is available on some charges, whereas in India, it is free. The fact of the matter is that in the US, the government provides it (and has been doing so) for free.[8] The expenditure on vaccines deserves federal support as returns are high. Not only that, those countries who anticipated an economic disruption in advance and announced an economic package for its citizens in the beginning of the pandemic, are faring much better now. Hence, charging something for a social good turns rationality to its head.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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