COVID -19 is a deadly virus that has affected almost every country in the world. India has started its vaccination drive for the people of the age gap between 18 – 44 on the 1st of May, 2021. Since then, wide data has been collected that shows the fewer women are getting jabbed as compared to men. As of 19 May 2021, a total of 22.20 crore people has been vaccinated with the first dose. Among which, 11.99 crores are males and 10.20 crore are females (Source: COWIN Website). The percentage of males vaccinated with the first dose is 54%, while females vaccinated is 45.9%. This shows the number of females getting vaccinated to attest to the first dose is almost 8.1% less than males, which is much lesser than the population gender gap of India.
Reasons of Lesser Women Getting Vaccinated
Gender disparity in vaccination cannot be neglected. Vaccination is essential for everyone irrespective of gender. Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour a doctor at SCI IVF Hospital – the best surrogacy clinic in Delhi highlighted the following reasons for lesser women getting vaccinated.
- Lack of Internet Accessibility: There is a significant gender gap in mobile phones and internet users in India. This gap is worse in the villages. Since the slot booking of covid vaccines is available through the online mode, women are not able to book it online due to the lack of technological resources.
- Lack of Transportation Modes: Covid vaccine is available at the various covid centres all across the country. Although the government is putting every possible effort to make the vaccine available at the nearest centres, still a lot of work needs to do. Some centres are very far from remote areas and women are not able to reach there all alone as they are dependent on the males in the house.
- Misconceptions around Vaccination: There are lots of rumours and myths spreading around the vaccination for women that creates hesitancy among the menstruating women of 18 to 44 age gaps. Some myths are the menstruating women should not take the vaccine as it affects their period cycle, cause irregular periods, and can also affect their fertility. These myths restrain the women, who are considering getting pregnant in the near future, from taking the vaccine.
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How to Encourage More Women to get Vaccinated
Women are almost half of the total population. The success of the fight against covid depends on the vaccination for all. Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour – the best gynaecologist in Delhi NCR suggests the following solution for encouraging women to get vaccinated.
- The best way to encourage women to get jab is to burst the misconception prevailing around the vaccination. Vaccination does not affect fertility at all. Although some minor irregularity in the period cycle can be observed in some women, these side-effects are temporary.
- Some state government initiatives such as pink booths that are only for women to get vaccinated should be applied in all states across India.
- Involvement of ASHA and Anganvadi workers to raise awareness towards vaccination and organizing vaccination drives at the nearest booth for women can also be an effective method.