COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among the Non Medical Adult Population Attending a Tertiary Care Hospital of Kolkata, India: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Soumitra Mondal,
S4/5, Srabonia bason, FC-Block, Sector-III Saltlake, Kolkata-700106, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: Vaccines play an important role in the fight against diseases whose cure is unavailable. In the battle against pandemics such as Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), the vaccine is the only available course of prevention. The hesitancy has been found all over the world, while some find it against their religious values, others are concerned about safety, or have doubts about its efficacy. Some are hesitant due to fear of needles while some show brass negligence. Being the second most populated country globally and a developing nation, India had faced its fair share of struggles with her citizens vaccinated. Even a minute percentage of people accounts for millions; hence, it is of utmost importance to get to the root of the causes of delay in vaccination.
Aim: To find the causes of delay or hesitancy among the people attending COVID-19 vaccination centre of a tertiary care hospital of Kolkata, (a year after vaccines were introduced to the general population).
Materials And Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in the COVID-19 vaccination centre of Medical College Kolkata, West Bengal, India, from 14th January to 14th April 2022. Total 74 non medical (not related to healthcare work) people who had come for 1st or 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccination were included in the study. A prestructured, pretested, prevalidated questionnaire was used to collect data from the participants of the study. The Likert scale comprising of nine questions were used to assess hesitancy. Data were analysed using Chi-square test. Binary logistic regression was done to confirm any predictability of occupation, literacy rate, age and gender on vaccine hesitancy.
Results: The participants comprised of 45 (60.8%) females and 29 (39.2%) males, aged between 18 to 60 years with the mean age of 33.75±11.06 years. The participants included 22 (29.7%) people who had just taken their first dose. Twenty six (35.1%) participants were hesitant. The most common causes of hesitancy were individuals’ fear of the vaccine and its impact on general health, unavailability of slots for vaccination and reluctance. Out of total, 58 (78.4%) people had faith in vaccines made in India and 48 (64.9%) persons believed that the vaccine would provide complete protection against COVID-19.
Conclusion: People were mainly concerned about safety issues as adequate and reliable information was not available to them. Some of them ignored the importance of vaccination while some could not get vaccinated due to the unavailability of slots.