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Table of Contents
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 237-238

On changing and challenging landscape of vaccination arena

1 Department of Medicine, KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of CFAR (Cytogenetics Unit), KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission06-Sep-2021
Date of Decision22-Sep-2021
Date of Acceptance22-Sep-2021
Date of Web Publication28-Oct-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harish Gupta
Department of Medicine, KG's Medical University, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/injms.injms_104_21

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How to cite this article:
Gupta H, Nigam N, Kumar S, Kumar A. On changing and challenging landscape of vaccination arena. Indian J Med Spec 2021;12:237-8

How to cite this URL:
Gupta H, Nigam N, Kumar S, Kumar A. On changing and challenging landscape of vaccination arena. Indian J Med Spec [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Dec 9];12:237-8. Available from: http://www.ijms.in/text.asp?2021/12/4/237/329468

Dear Editor,

To make vaccines available to all who need them, governments, manufacturers, and other stakeholders must commit to share and produce more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to protect everyone. For 'Vaccine Equity' is a slogan for the global body, the World Health Organization, in our times where it observes that some people in wealthy countries are getting third dose as a booster -shot whereas most countries in Africa are unable to provide even first shot to its frontline workers.

Sharma and Srivastava conducted their online survey assessing perceptions and beliefs on vaccination for COVID-19 in Delhi by a cross-sectional study in July–September 2021 issue of the Journal. The authors prepared a questionnaire, sent to various participants, obtained their answers, and then analysed its data.[1] Therein under a heading of Methodology, they write that the questionnaire was written in English language. However, at present, various local language input tools are available on Google platform which allow users to prepare a format in Hindi and several other regional languages. Whereas, online surveys are not bound by any geography and there are programs at our disposal to break language barriers too; when COVID-19 is a global challenge in our times, we believe that our response too should not recognize any restraint.

Thereafter under a heading of Results, the authors underscore that a trend was seen with more participants opting for vaccination who had higher income, but it was not statistically significant. Here, we need to interpret the finding with some considerations of our realities. While at present vaccines are available for free to masses, the policy got revision recently. The Central Government enforced price cap on vaccines available for private sector on June 8, 2021. Hence, if those participants opt for vaccination who have higher income, that may have been because they could afford that besides making online registration, which is mandatory for the under 45 age group. Losing one's wage when they go to a vaccination site, wait in a queue before getting an injection, and then wait for half an hour as per protocol, is not an option for many when one is sole breadwinner of a family. Zeynep Tufekci, a Professor of School of Information and Library Sciences at the Department of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill observes a similar phenomenon across the oceans. She states in New York Times on Oct 15 this month that the most powerful predictor of who remains unvaccinated in US was not age, politics, race, income or location. But the lack of health insurance.

As regarding hesitancy, around the world, various studies are being conducted to analyze its reasons. Khubchandani et al. assessed before it was actually available.[2] Troiano and Nardi found that being against vaccines in general was the main reason for deciding not getting it.[3] The US Census Bureau conducts and publishes various surveys in this respect.[4] The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal agency, published a Morbidity and Mortality Report on February 12, 2021, on COVID-19 vaccination intent, perceptions, and reasons for not vaccinating among groups prioritized for early vaccination – the United States, September and December 2020. Just before actual inoculation started there, the agency discovered that concern about side effects and safety of the vaccine was the prime reason for refusing it (then).[5] A study conducted 5 years ago found that in two- party system in the US, those voting for Republicans has a lower percentage coverage among adolescents than those voting for Democrats.[6] Now during COVID times, Republican favoring (Red) States are seeing a surge even when vaccine is available plentifully, although this situation is changing dynamically.[7]

Under a heading of Discussion, the authors write that in the US, the vaccine is available on some charges, whereas in India, it is free. The fact of the matter is that in the US, the government provides it (and has been doing so) for free.[8] The expenditure on vaccines deserves federal support as returns are high. Not only that, those countries who anticipated an economic disruption in advance and announced an economic package for its citizens in the beginning of the pandemic, are faring much better now. Hence, charging something for a social good turns rationality to its head.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Sharma A, Srivastava A. Perceptions and beliefs on vaccination for COVID-19 in Delhi: A cross sectional study. India J Med Spec 2021;12:151-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
Khubchandani J, Sharma S, Price JH, Wiblishauser MJ, Sharma M, Webb FJ. COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy in the United States: A rapid national assessment. J Community Health 2021;46:270-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Troiano G, Nardi A. Vaccine hesitancy in the era of COVID-19. Public Health 2021;194:245-51.  Back to cited text no. 3
How do COVID-19 Vaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy Rates Vary over Time. US Census Bureau. Available from: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/04/how-do-covid-19-vaccination-and-vaccine-hesitancy-rates-vary-over-time.html. [Last accessed on 2021 Sep 06].  Back to cited text no. 4
US CDC. COVID-19 vaccination intent, perceptions and reasons for not vaccinating among groups prioritized for early vaccination – United States, Sep and Dec 2020. MMWR 2021;70:217-22. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7006e3.htm. [Last accessed on 2021 Sep 06].  Back to cited text no. 5
Bernstein S, North A, Schwartz J, Niccolai LM. State-level voting patterns and adolescent vaccination coverage in the United States, 2014. Am J Public Health 2016;106:1879-81.  Back to cited text no. 6
Astor M. How Partisanship Affects Pandemic Thinking. New York Times; April 19, 2021. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/19/us/politics/covid-democrats-republicans.html. [Last accessed on 2021 Sep 06].  Back to cited text no. 7
COVID-19 Vaccines are Free to Public. US CDC. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/no-cost.html. [Last accessed on 2021 Sep 06; Last updated on 2021 May 24].  Back to cited text no. 8

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