Fear of side-effects deters parents from jabbing kids: Survey

The survey by NGOs Save the Children and Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) also showed that even poor and illiterate people were aware (over 76%)

Published: 31st March 2022 07:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2022 07:42 AM   |  A+A-

Awareness about vaccinating children against Covid remains high | PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  A vaccine-hesitancy study across five states — Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh — revealed that awareness of Covid-19 vaccination for children was above 80% but the parents were concerned about post-vaccination side effects such as fever, headache, sickness and even death.

The survey by NGOs Save the Children and Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) also showed that even poor and illiterate people were aware (over 76%) of the vaccination for children but didn’t know how to register for it. 

A total of 5,363 respondents from different educational, economic and social backgrounds, religions, age groups and gender were surveyed from December 1, 2021-January 31, 2022, in these five states. Some respondents (10% of 867 completely unvaccinated respondents) said they didn’t want to vaccinate children due to lack of information about its efficacy, despite high awareness levels.

Their main concerns for not doing so were safety and long-term suitability. Some even said they fear that if their children were vaccinated, they would catch fever, or fall sick for a long time and even die. However, over 90% of respondents in these states said they would like to get their children vaccinated.

“Our strategy is to strengthen the Covid-19 vaccination delivery and ensure most vulnerable populations have access to evidence-based information on Covid-19 vaccination to demystify the misinformation and myths to improve vaccination uptake,”  said Dr Antaryami Dash, acting deputy director, health and nutrition, Save the Children, India. 

Among the five states, Maharashtra was on top of the list, where over 94% of respondents knew about the registration process for the vaccine. However, 83% in Bihar had no clue about the process, followed by Madhya Pradesh (75.7%), Jharkhand (41.2%) and Uttar Pradesh (37.2%). There was uncertainty related to the registration process, especially in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, where 83 per cent and 75 per cent of the respondents, respectively, did not know how to register. The study said awareness increased with education.


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