First of all, many parents are worried about any long terms side effects of the vaccine. Secondly, as the situation is getting normal and the government lifting the Covid restrictions, many people are taking it lightly and hence not showing the urgency to take the vaccine. I would suggest that the government should make vaccination in schools compulsory. Schools should arrange camps for vaccination for the kids.
Need aggressive campaign
There has been a poor turnout mainly because the elderly and those with comorbidities have been the focus.To ensure better response to vaccination drive, so that maximum beneficiaries are covered, aggressive campaigns is a must to create awareness amongst people to vaccinate kids. Vaccination should be made compulsory for kids in school and public places. Felicitate and give certificate to children in public functions to encourage maximum participation. Conduct competition between schools and classes for maximum number of vaccinated students. The main reason for poor response to the children’s vaccination drive seems to be lack of awareness about Corbevax vaccine. A Google search reveals that it has been cleared for emergency use by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Ever since the pandemic began, we have always read Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as the approving authority. In case of Corbevax, ICMR is missing from the news. Parents are confused as to why it is so. Also, Corbevax is not recognised for international travel. If one looks at the pattern, the spike in cases and vaccine availability seem to be directly proportional to each other. If no deaths are being reported due to Covid, is vaccination really called for?, is a question that parents are struggling with.
Vax drive in school
The government should allow only vaccinated children to school. The government should conduct vaccination drive in schools for children who want to get vaccinated. The school should give some incentive and encouragement to students for getting vaccinated.
Rope in school administration
Not only 12-15 vaccination drive, but drive for below 60-years too has been a lacklustre campaign. For kids, an intense drive by roping in school administration should be carried out as this is the simplest method. Below 60 vaccination drive too has become all the more critical with cases rising and offices /schools/religious places opening fully to the public without mask and other mandates. Awareness drives, lists of centres etc should be widely carried out/publicised by PMC just like it was done during the 1st and 2nd waves.
Fear of side effects
One of the reasons for vaccination hesitancy is that parents are worried about side effects and do not have enough information. Also, there is shortage of vaccines, no correct information about the centres and their timings and inability to afford vaccines at these private centres are also among other reasons for low turnout. With no active Covid wave, parents are a bit complacent too.Now, since schools have started may be the parents get the kids vaccinated soon.
Wait and watch attitude
Unlike other vaccines parents are hesitant to take Covid-19 vaccine because it was created last year which makes it relatively new as compared to other vaccines. Parent’s can be educated about the efficacy of the vaccine despite its recent invention. Also, social media and internet messages promoting misinformation and mistrust about the vaccine adds to the woes and should be banned.Parents are worried about the potential unknown side effects and hence the wait and watch attitude is seen amongst many. In this case, the government websites should disclose information related to the do’s and don’ts should be published educating more parents.