- 61% people say that they are sceptical about the COVID-19 vaccine
- 33% respondents feel anxious, 13% feel depressed due to COVID
- The survey had over 25,000 responses from over 225 districts of India
New Delhi: As COVID-19 continues its spike across the globe, scientists from around the world, including India are developing several vaccines which are at different stages of clinical trials. The central government has also revealed various plans to vaccinate the country, while some states remain under the stage of planning. At such a time, the latest survey by LocalCircles, an Indian community social media platform, has revealed that about 61 per cent of people have said that they are sceptical about the COVID-19 vaccine and will not rush to take it in 2021 even if it is available.
The aim of the survey by LocalCircles was to know the tentative perception of peoples’ reaction when the Government rolls out the COVID-19 vaccine. Furthermore, it sought to know peoples’ current behaviour facing COVID-19 threats, and for how long will they continue to endure the suffering from the pandemic.
The survey received over 25,000 responses from over 225 districts of India, LocalCircles revealed. The question that the respondents were asked about the vaccine was,
If the COVID-19 vaccine became available in the early part of next year, would you like to get it so you can go back to your pre-COVID lifestyle?
To which, 61 per cent of the 8,312 respondents said they are sceptical about the COVID-19 vaccine and will not rush to take it in 2021 even if it is available. Moreover, only 12 per cent respondents said would get vaccinated and go back to living pre-COVID lifestyle, while 25 per cent said they will get vaccinated but still will not go back to pre-COVID lifestyle, the remaining 10 per cent said they will not take it at all in 2021.
Nearly 200 pharmaceutical companies are engaged in trials for a vaccine, that is being monitored by the world on its each and every move. However, when a vaccine does become available, which according to WHO’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan, will be somewhere in March-April 2021, we need to understand how people feel and trust the vaccine candidates.
The complexity of the COVID-19 disease, and the fact that very little is known about the virus which is less than a year old, has put several challenges for scientists to develop a safe and effective vaccine.
These respondents were also asked how they feel mentally after eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 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.
At present, India is observing a decline in the COVID-19 spike but experts worry that the onset of winters and festivals may lead to the cases worsening. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation this week where he warned everyone that despite the relaxations in the lockdown restrictions, “coronavirus is still very much there.”
India is 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 and multiplexes.
While the Central and State Governments are permitting various services like markets, restaurants, metros, multiplexes, markets, parks to operate, the general guidelines are still to minimise social interactions, maximise social distancing, mandatory use of mask when out of home.
In terms of the lifestyle changes in professional settings, majority of the companies have implemented a Work-From-Home model to ensure safety of their employees.
In order 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 responses, 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. 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. If the numbers are added up, 63 per cent citizens feel they can easily sustain the post-COVID way of living with restrictions till March 31, 2021.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.