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TN health department to devise new strategies on vaccine awareness as level of hesitancy high in senior citizens

- August 9, 2021

Chennai, August 9(BPNS)

Tamil Nadu health department is to chalk out new strategies on vaccine awareness as a survey commissioned by the Directorate of Public Health and  Preventive Medicine revealed that the vaccine The hesitancy among the senior citizens is high at 27.5%.

The survey, “Vaccine hesitancy” conducted by the  department among the citizens of the state in the month of July revealed that most of the senior citizens were reluctant to get vaccinated. While some were not aware of the benefits of vaccination, some of the senior citizens were of the ill-conceived notion that they would not contract the virus. A section of the senior population was afraid of injections while another section was afraid on whether they would contract any infections after the jab. Some of the seniors did not know as to where they should approach to get vaccines

The survey was conducted among 95 clusters chosen randomly with each cluster comprising of 90 random houses. A total of 2048 senior citizens were approached and of this, only 1048 were vaccinated. While 246 got both doses of vaccine 802 people could get only a single dose.

Three age groups,18-44, 45-60, and above 60 were subjected to the survey, and among them,  the senior citizen group were more into vaccine hesitancy, the survey revealed.

The study found that 27.6% of the senior citizens had vaccine hesitancy which was the highest among the three age groups.  16.9% of those in the age group between 18-44 were having vaccine hesitancy while in the age group of 45-60, 18.2% were vaccine-hesitant.

Among the unvaccinated individuals 57.6% were of the fear that complications would arise after the jab, 24.5% doubted on the  vaccine’s efficacy, 20.9% of those not vaccinated feared death after getting inoculated.

Surprisingly the survey found that 48.4% of the senior citizen population were afraid of injections and 22.5% found long queues and waiting hours as a reason for not preferring the injections.

Respective deputy director of health services led the survey team in each district of Tamil Nadu. In Chennai, the survey was conducted by the Postgraduate students of Community Medicine, Madras Medical College, and with the support of the Greater Chennai Corporation.

Director of Public Health, Dr. T.S. Selvavinayagam while speaking to BPNS said, “The survey has revealed that there are misconceptions among the people and we will be focusing on awareness among the people. We had done several awareness campaigns among the clusters across the state and we will now be giving special focus and attention to people above the age of 60 owing to the high rate of reluctance among them.”

He also said that strategies and facilities would be created to break the barriers and empower everyone to get vaccinated with confidence.