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75% Indians don’t know how to get vaccinated. UP, Bihar, MP, Rajasthan fare worst

Beneficiaries above 18 years old wait for their turn to get the Covid-19 vaccine, at Radha Swami Satsang vaccination centre in New Delhi on 6 May 2021 | ANI
Beneficiaries above 18 wait for their turn to get the Covid-19 vaccine, at Radha Swami Satsang vaccination centre in New Delhi on 6 May 2021 | ANI


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It is now evident that vaccination is the only way for India to defeat the coronavirus. The Narendra Modi government’s vaccination policy has come under severe criticism for its multi-pricing strategy, lack of supply, arbitrary change of rules of vaccination intervals, etc.

But underlying all this is the process of getting oneself vaccinated. And for that, there is only CoWIN — the government’s app and online portal solely managing the vaccination drive.

Perhaps, all readers of this column are aware of CoWIN and the process for registration for vaccination. But as ThePrint-Prashnam Vox Pop series has repeatedly shown, we are not representative of the nation.

So, what percentage of Indians actually know about the vaccination process? This is what we set out to find this week.

We asked two questions to 2,248 adult Indians across seven states – Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, covering 246 districts:

If you want to get vaccinated, what is the process to follow?

  1. Take the help of your local leader
  2. A government officer will visit my area to vaccinate us
  3. Have to register on a government platform or app
  4. I don’t know

What is CoWIN?

  1. It is a government scheme to give money to the poor
  2. It is a government scheme to give ration to people
  3. It is an app to register for vaccination
  4. I don’t know

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Respondent profile

Of the 2,248 adult Indians who responded to this survey, 68 per cent were male and 32 per cent female; 66 per cent were youth (<40 years), 24 per cent middle-aged, and 9 per cent seniors (>60).

The all-India number is calculated based on the population weighted average of the seven states surveyed.

Results

Seventy-five per cent of adult Indians DO NOT know the process to get vaccinated.

Vast majority of the people surveyed didn’t know that the process of vaccination is to register on the government app or portal. Thirty per cent people think that a government official will visit them to vaccinate. While 13 per cent think that they will have to take help of a local leader.

Not surprisingly, more people in Kerala (43 per cent) and Maharashtra (37 per cent) knew the correct process for vaccination. In Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, only 14 per cent of those surveyed knew how to get vaccinated.

Contrary to what one would expect, there is no significant difference in awareness levels between urban and rural districts. Seventy per cent in urban districts are unaware of the vaccination procedure while 76 per cent in rural districts are unaware.


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Awareness about CoWIN app/portal

Seventy-two per cent of the people who knew the vaccination process rightly identified CoWIN as a platform for registration.

Except for people in Bihar (50 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (47 per cent), a good number of people from the other five states knew about CoWIN — 64 per cent in Gujarat and 89 per cent in Uttar Pradesh.

But given that 75 per cent of the adult populace does not know about the vaccination process, the central and state governments have a huge responsibility of raising awareness. Political parties with their vast ground network and civil society organisations that have the trust of the people can also play a pivotal role in raising awareness, and help people register for vaccination on CoWIN. Even if the Modi government manages to solve the vaccine shortage problem sometime soon, India may still lag behind in the goal to vaccinate the entire adult population if people remain unaware about the vaccination process.

As always, Prashnam, in keeping with its principles of transparency and integrity, has made available the entire raw data of this survey here for analysts and researchers to verify and analyse further. 

Rajesh Jain is founder, Prashnam, an AI technology start-up that aims to make opinion gathering more scientific, easy, fast, and affordable. Views are personal.

The article is part of ThePrint-Prashnam Vox Pop series. 

(Edited by Prashant Dixit)

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