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61% Indians wary of COVID-19 vaccine, won't rush to take it even if it is available in 2021: Survey

Only 12 percent respondents said they will get vaccinated and go back to their pre-COVID lifestyle, while 25 percent said they will get vaccinated but still won't go back to pre-COVID lifestyle

October 23, 2020 / 08:09 PM IST

Nearly 61 percent of Indians said they are wary of a COVID-19 vaccine and will not rush to take it even it is made available in 2021, a survey revealed on October 22.

Last month, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available in India by the beginning of 2021.

LocalCircles sought people's perception to a COVID-19 vaccine if it was made available. It also sought to people's current behaviour with regard to 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.

The complexity of the COVID-19 disease has thrown up formidable challenges for scientists to develop a safe and effective vaccine. But when a vaccine does become available in March-April 2021, it is important that people have a certain level of trust in it. LocalCircles’ survey finds that the majority of citizens are sceptical about the COVID-19 vaccines that may be available in early 2021.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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To the question “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?” 61 percent of the 8,312 respondents said they are sceptical and will not rush to take it in 2021 even if it is available.

Only 12 percent respondents said they will get vaccinated and go back to their pre-COVID lifestyle, 25 percent said they will get vaccinated but still won't go back to pre-COVID lifestyle, and 10 percent said they won't take it at all in 2021.


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 restrictions?”

Of the 8,496 citizens that participated, 38 percent said they are willing to live the COVID-19 way of living for as long as it takes, while 23 percent said they are already tired of the restrictions.

While 14 percent each said they will continue living this way till December 31 and till March 31, 2021, 6 percent said till June 30, 2021, 2 percent said till September 30, and 3 percent said till December 31, 2021.

If the numbers are added up, 63 percent citizens feel they can easily sustain their post-COVID way of living with restrictions till March 31, 2021.

India is currently in the fifth phase of unlocking, which has seen most restrictions removed. While the central and state Governments are permitting various services like markets, restaurants, metros, multiplexes, markets, parks etc to operate, the general guidelines are still to minimise social interactions, maximise social distancing, always wear a mask when out of home and in general avoid crowded public places.

Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 infections reached a total of 7.76 million, with 54,366 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours, data from the federal health ministry showed on October 23.

first published: Oct 23, 2020 06:19 pm

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