ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

VaccinationSubscribe to Vaccination

Literacy and Response to COVID-19

Demand for vaccination, as well as access to it, is uneven and sluggish across various parts of India. This article delves into the explanations for this variation from a demand perspective. We find a positive correlation between literacy and the first dose of vaccination. A similar trend is discernible for the demand for vaccines. Also, we find that higher literacy is associated with greater vaccine coverage among women. This nexus between literacy and health preparedness is further substantiated by our findings at the micro-level from an adult literacy evaluation study conducted in early 2021. About 80% of the literate women we surveyed were aware of the COVID-19 symptoms, compared to only 19% surveyed illiterate women. We found that literate women are more likely to wear masks properly and follow COVID-19 protocols and keep abreast with the news and information about COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccine Accessibility

The patent waiver procedure at the World Trade Organization needs to be fast-tracked. The global community must not be constrained by the interests of private industry and saving lives is what matters.

COVID-19: Lessons from a Knowable Unknown

Since December 2019, the world has been combating a biological enemy—COVID-19. This article looks at how we arrived at this point and how we must be better prepared to battle the next Disease x, as the World Health Organization calls it.

Slow Vaccination Rate: A Sword of Damocles over the Economy

Recurring waves of the pandemic are the biggest threat to the recovery of economic growth.

Politics and Economics of Vaccine Policy

India’s COVID -19 vaccine policy betrays a lack of vision and social responsibility.

Questionable Permission, Ineffective Programme

Anant Phadke writes: On 3 January, Covishield and Covaxin (manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech respectively) received “permission for restricted use in emergency situation subject to certain regulatory conditions.” The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave this...

Polio Elimination: A Response

In Manoj Grover’s letter “Polio Elimination” (EPW, 17 May 2014) on two points in my article “Can the Polio Elimination Success Story Breed More Successes in India?” (EPW, 5 April 2014), the writer seems to answer the question in the negative, saying: “I cannot imagine any internal [read Indian]...

Polio Elimination

In the article titled “Can the Polio Elimination Success Story Breed More Successes in India?” by T Jacob John (EPW, 5 April 2014), the author makes a comment that India would have eliminated polio decades ago had it used inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) in the universal immunisation programme...

Can the Polio Elimination Success Story Breed More Successes in India?

Overcoming formidable biological and sociocultural barriers, India eliminated wild polioviruses from its territory in January 2011. Looking back, it is obvious that the best policy would have been to introduce the inactivated poliovirus vaccine to prevent polio in every vaccinated child, and to use oral poliovirus vaccine by pulse campaigns to eliminate WPVs rapidly. This would have eliminated polio decades ago. Now that WPVs have been eliminated, IPV must be introduced as a prelude to withdrawing OPV. The road ahead is bumpy, but with the important lessons learnt so far, India can no longer pretend that it is too difficult to design a permanent public health infrastructure to control other communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Hep-B Vaccine: Some Issues

Introducing the hepatitis B vaccine in the national immunisation programme would not only cost the government more than all the other six vaccines on the programme, but would yield little by way of public health protection.

Manufacture of Consent?

This article explores several questions concerning the inclusion of hepatitis B vaccination under the universal immunisation programme in India, such as the prevalence of the disease in the population, cost-effectiveness and international experience. There are strong indications that the vaccine policy in India, rather than being determined by disease burden and demand, is increasingly driven by supply push, generated by industry and mediated by international organisations. The debate on hepatitis B in India underscores the need for a strong health information and disease surveillance system, local capability building and rigorous economic evaluation studies with regard to health policies.
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