Vaccination turnout dips in India; safety, technical problems and misinformation feed vaccine hesitancy

India’s vaccination drive began on January 16 and in 18 days the country has successfully vaccinated over 4.1 million healthcare workers.

From vaccinating to about 570,000 per day a week earlier, the number has now slipped to about 190,000 a day.

The dip in the figures is largely being blamed on the safety of the vaccine, technical problems with the software used, and misinformation

“Then gradually vaccine hesitancy has set in and people have a lot of issues. Some don’t want the current vaccines. They are thinking, few more vaccines are coming in soon so it is best to wait,” Dr Suneela Garg, advisor to the Indian Council of Medical Research said.

The Health Ministry of India on Wednesday declared that India is the fastest country to reach the mark of 4 million vaccinations. It achieved the mark in 18 days. But public health experts say India will have to do a lot more to achieve its target of 300 million people in the next six months.

India have approved two vaccines – Covishield (the local name for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine developed in the UK) and Covaxin, locally-made by pharma company Bharat Biotech.

India’s daily vaccination count between January 16 and February 3 (Screen grab: