A survey by media platform Gaon Connection, titled ‘The Rural Report 3: Covid-19 Vaccine and Rural India’, released Tuesday, has categorised Gujarat as a state with ‘low Covid-19 prevalence rate’, along with Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. More than 2,200 rural households formed a part of the sample of the low Covid-19 prevalence states.
The survey undertaken to assess vaccine awareness had a total sample size of 6,040 rural households across 16 states and one Union Territory. Of these, 389 rural households from Gujarat were a part of the survey’s sample under the west zone analysis. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh were the two other states in the west zone. The three states combined had a sample size of 1,186 households.
The rapid survey, conducted face-to-face between December 1 and 10, looked at what rural India thought about the Covid-19 vaccine, if rural citizens would pay Rs 1,000 for vaccinating one family member, if they have to choose, whom in their family will they vaccinate first, how aware the rural citizens were about the updates on the Covid-19 vaccine, how much did they trust the vaccine candidates, and other aspects.
A number of participants, surveyed in the west zone, said they would give ‘self’ (29.8 per cent) priority to be vaccinated followed by ‘old parents’ (28 per cent), which was in contrast to the east, north-east and south zones where respondents gave priority to old parents. In the north zone, respondents preferred children to be given vaccine on priority.
Respondents were also asked if they were aware of the various companies trying to come out with a Covid-19 vaccine during the survey. A zone-wise analysis revealed the awareness was comparatively higher in the north zone (85%) while it was the lowest in west zone (61% said they are aware).
Among the low Covid-19 prevalence states’ rural households surveyed, nearly 82 per cent, that is 755 households, said they are ready to pay up to Rs 500 to avail the two doses of vaccine and another 15 per cent (or 142 households) across the five states said they would pay up to Rs 1,000 for the same. This was in contrast to high and medium Covid-19 prevalence states, where fewer people wanted to pay for the vaccine doses.
Overall, the rapid survey found among its 6,000-odd rural household respondents, over 32 per cent expressed a concern that the vaccine may have an adverse health impact, while 25 per cent admitted to concerns of black-marketing. Another 22 per cent said their concern was that the common people will not be in the priority list during vaccine distribution.
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