Women Falling Behind In India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

Women Falling Behind In India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

Health officials say rumours about vaccines disrupting women's menstruation cycle and reducing fertility are among reasons behind the low COVID-19 immunisation among women
Coronavirus Outbreak, Coronavirus Vaccine, News
- in Coronavirus Outbreak, Coronavirus Vaccine, News
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Women Falling Behind In India's COVID-19 Vaccination DriveMen account for 54 per cent of the total number of people inoculated against COVID-19, according to the data
Highlights
  • India, with a population of 1.3 billion, has about 6% more men than women
  • I don't know how to read-write, how will I register for vaccine: A woman
  • India has so far administered 233.7 million doses: Centre

Bengaluru: Many more men in India have received COVID-19 vaccines than women, government data showed on Tuesday (June 8), highlighting gender disparity in the country’s immunisation drive that has also disadvantaged the rural population. India has partly or fully vaccinated about 101 million men, nearly 17 per cent more than women. Men account for 54 per cent of the total number of people inoculated, according to the data.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explained: All You Need To Know About The COVID-19 Vaccine For Children In India

Many federally administered regions, the capital Delhi, and big states such as Uttar Pradesh have seen some of the worst inequities. Only Kerala in the south and Chhattisgarh in central India have vaccinated more women than men.

We are noticing that men, especially in towns and villages, prefer to take the vaccine before women as they have to travel for work, while women are relegated to domestic chores, said Prashant Pandya, medical superintendent at a big government hospital in the western state of Gujarat.

Health officials say rumours about vaccines disrupting women’s menstruation cycle and reducing fertility have also contributed to the skewed data. The government has rejected the concerns.

The government will have to ramp up awareness programmes in rural India to ensure women understand the importance of vaccines and prioritise themselves in this race to secure the two shots, said Sudha Narayanan, a former bureaucrat who worked in the health ministry in New Delhi.

Women will have to step forward to get vaccinated or the divide will rapidly widen, Narayanan added.

India, with a population of 1.3 billion, has about 6 per cent more men than women.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccine Explainer: How Do Vaccines Work?

A spokesperson for the federal Ministry of Health and Family Welfare did not respond to Reuters’ questions about the gender disparity.

Some women in the rural parts of Gujarat and neighbouring Rajasthan state have urged the authorities to deliver vaccines at their doorstep, saying they are unable to travel to hospitals leaving their children behind.

“I don’t know how to read and write…how will I register for the vaccine,” said Laxmiben Suthar, a mother of four in the town of Vadnagar in Gujarat. “The government must send the medicine to us.”

India’s vaccination policy has evolved fast but the federal government has so far resisted calls for door-to-door immunisations given that the vaccines have only been authorised for emergency use and recipients need to be monitored for a short period for any adverse reactions.

Urban Indians are also getting COVID-19 shots much faster than the hundreds of millions of people living in the countryside, government data has shown. That is partly due to a policy that helped richer cities buy more vaccine doses than rural districts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reversed the policy and said vaccines will be offered at no charge to all adults starting June 21. The government will also facilitate more walk-in inoculations after complaints about the online registration process.

India has so far administered 233.7 million doses, the most in the world after China and the United States, but given the necessary two doses to only about 5 per cent of its estimated 950 million adults.

India has the world’s second-largest number of coronavirus infections after the United States, with total cases at nearly 29 million, according to health ministry data. The country has suffered 351,309 deaths.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccine: AIIMS Delhi Starts Screening Of Children For Covaxin Trials

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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 (WaterSanitation 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

17,91,56,496Cases
5,81,68,051Active
11,71,06,212Recovered
38,82,233Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,91,56,496 and 38,82,233 have died; 5,81,68,051 are active cases and 11,71,06,212 have recovered as on June 23, 2021 at 3:45 am.

India

3,00,28,709 50,848Cases
6,43,19419,327Active
2,89,94,855 68,817Recovered
3,90,660 1,358Deaths
In India, there are 3,00,28,709 confirmed cases including 3,90,660 deaths. The number of active cases is 6,43,194 and 2,89,94,855 have recovered as on June 23, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

59,87,521 8,470

1,26,468 1,055

57,42,258 9,043

1,18,795 482

Kerala

28,29,460 12,617

1,00,881 746

27,16,284 11,730

12,295 141

Karnataka

28,15,029 3,709

1,18,615 4,541

26,62,250 8,111

34,164 139

Tamil Nadu

24,36,819 6,895

56,886 4,443

23,48,353 11,144

31,580 194

Andhra Pradesh

18,57,352 4,169

53,880 4,260

17,91,056 8,376

12,416 53

Uttar Pradesh

17,04,678 202

3,910 253

16,78,486 397

22,282 58

West Bengal

14,85,438 1,852

22,508 232

14,45,493 2,037

17,437 47

Delhi

14,32,778 397

1,918 78

14,05,927 467

24,933 8

Chhattisgarh

9,91,653 482

8,007 557

9,70,244 1,032

13,402 7

Rajasthan

9,51,393 137

2,388 303

9,40,101 437

8,904 3

Odisha

8,83,490 2,957

30,859 1,240

8,48,960 4,159

3,671 38

Gujarat

8,22,620 135

5,159 480

8,07,424 612

10,037 3

Madhya Pradesh

7,89,415 65

1,707 273

7,78,902 318

8,806 20

Haryana

7,67,726 146

2,200 137

7,56,231 263

9,295 20

Bihar

7,20,207 268

2,811 206

7,07,833 468

9,563 6

Telangana

6,15,574 1,175

16,640 606

5,95,348 1,771

3,586 10

Punjab

5,93,063 405

5,968 509

5,71,207 880

15,888 34

Assam

4,88,179 2,869

32,975 350

4,50,924 2,482

4,280 37

Jharkhand

3,44,775 110

1,417 72

3,38,256 180

5,102 2

Uttarakhand

3,38,978 171

2,896 68

3,29,030 231

7,052 8

Jammu And Kashmir

3,12,584 428

7,181 578

3,01,134 999

4,269 7

Himachal Pradesh

2,00,791 188

2,276 132

1,95,062 315

3,453 5

Goa

1,64,957 303

2,920 146

1,59,029 438

3,008 11

Puducherry

1,15,364 284

3,214 150

1,10,423 433

1,727 1

Manipur

64,993 575

9,214 84

54,714 649

1,065 10

Tripura

63,140 395

3,747 163

58,735 554

658 4

Chandigarh

61,467 23

278 33

60,383 56

806

Meghalaya

45,976 421

4,273 77

40,915 341

788 3

Arunachal Pradesh

33,664 289

2,548 9

30,956 279

160 1

Nagaland

24,438 64

1,757 87

22,204 149

477 2

Ladakh

19,871 33

360 5

19,309 38

202

Sikkim

19,458 137

2,430 18

16,732 152

296 3

Mizoram

18,409 430

4,424 197

13,900 233

85

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,520 4

61 1

10,455 3

4

Lakshadweep

9,504 33

315 4

9,142 36

47 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,425 10

103 6

7,195 4

127

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