According to the WHO, vaccine hesitancy refers to a delay in the acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite the availability of vaccine services. Vaccine hesitancy is complex and context-specific, varying across time, place and vaccines. Despite significant progress, India missed the target of giving its entire adult population of 94 crores two vaccinations by the end of 2021. A November 2021 article on Scroll analysed Cowin data and reported that districts with more than 50% tribal populations had significant low coverage of vaccination. This low coverage of the vaccine among tribal communities is due to the spread of fears, myths and misconceptions regarding COVID vaccination. There are also additional factors of poor access to healthcare, high dependence on daily labour to meet end’s meal, etc. that contribute to the low numbers. Recognising the need, Anamaya, the Tribal Health Collaborative started investing efforts to address vaccine hesitancy across the tribal districts of India through Aashwasan campaign in 2021.
The document below captures insights from Anamaya’s early efforts toward Dispelling vaccine hesitancy in tribal districts of India