COVID-19 Vaccine Behaviour among
People Attending a Tertiary Care
Centre, Punjab, India
Ravi Kumar Garg,
Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatric Surgery, Government Medical College, Patiala, Punjab, India.
Introduction: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) appropriate behaviour and vaccination are two critical defenses in the fight against this pandemic. As these need to be followed religiously, this preventive behaviour should be thoroughly investigated.
Aim: To examine the COVID-19 vaccine behaviour amongst people attending tertiary care centre at Patiala, Punjab, India.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 200 individuals attending the Outpatient Department of Government Medical College at Patiala, Punjab, India, from 15th July to 22nd July 2021. Individuals were administered socio-demographic questionnaire, General Health Questionnaire-12-Hindi version (GHQ-12), and COVID-19 vaccine related and COVID-19 appropriate behavior related questionnaire. Actual observation by the clinician regarding proper use of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing was done and objectively scored on 0-10 for each item with a scale interval of 2. Analysis was conducted using IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22.0.
Results: Only 40% individuals were vaccinated. After eligibility, there was a mean delay of 4.20±3.51 weeks (median: 4 weeks) and 13.40±3.33 weeks (median: 12 weeks) in the vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Out of 120, 86 unvaccinated participants planned to get vaccinated in future. Significantly lower scores were obtained for actually observed COVID-19 appropriate behaviour (proper mask usage, hand hygiene and social distancing) as noted by the clinician vs the scores as reported by the participants.
Conclusion: There were few takers for the COVID-19 vaccine, even weeks after eligibility. The COVID-19 appropriate behaviour was largely not being followed properly and the false sense of following the same complicated issues further. With multiple waves of the pandemic one after the other, and booster doses of vaccination, there is still an urgent need to sensitise the population at the grass root level regarding the COVID-19 vaccine behaviour to fight this pandemic.