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Are women reluctant to take Covid-19 shots in India? Here's what govt data says

Since the beginning of the vaccination drive, 14.99 crore doses have been administered to women while 17.8 crore doses have been given to men, government data reveals.
The vaccine coverage of women in India is lesser than that of men, government data reveals.
Published on Jun 30, 2021 09:21 AM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

India has vaccinated more people than the entire population of Canada in eight days between June 21 and June 29, but the male-female ratio of vaccination coverage remains skewed. From June 21, India entered a new phase of vaccination where the Centre procures 75 per cent of vaccines from the vaccine makers and distributes them among states so that people can be vaccinated at an accelerated pace. Over 4.61 crore doses have been administered in the last eight days, which the government said is more than the population of Iraq (4.02 crore), Canada (3.77 crore), Saudi Arabia (3.48 crore) and Malaysia (3.23 crore).

However, as far as the male-female ratio is concerned, government data reveals that women are left behind men by over 3 crore doses as 14.99 crore doses have been administered to women since the beginning of the vaccination drive, which is 46 per cent of the total doses. Around 17.8 crore doses have been given to men, which is 54 per cent of the total vaccination. In India, 54,693 people belonging to the other gender category have received vaccination till date.

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"We would like to see increased proportion of women coming to vaccination booths for receiving the vaccine so that skew in gender can also get corrected," Niti Aayog member (health) VK Paul said commenting on the gender gap.

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What might have held women back from getting vaccinated

When the vaccination drive began in India on January 16, pregnant and lactating women were kept outside the coverage of vaccination, which might be one of the reasons, according to experts, behind the skewed ratio. Rumours like women should not take Covid-19 vaccines during menstruation or that vaccines will affect fertility might have also deterred women from coming forward to take vaccines.

For both men and women, Covid-19 vaccines have no impact on fertility and there is no such question as all these are investigated during the trial, Dr Paul said on Tuesday, during the press meet of the health ministry. "With full authority and science and research, I want to say there is no side effect of infertility associated with vaccines and it is rumour mongering and raising doubts so please don't believe them. There is no chance with any infertility, male or female, in relation to any licensed vaccine -- Covaxin, Covishield, Sputnik-V and Moderna," Dr Paul said.

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