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Vaccine hesitancy amongst the tribal population of India: a comparative scenario between COVID-19 vaccination and routine immunization

Author - Satabdi Barman, Prachi Sharma, Alok Srivastava | Published - 2024

Vaccine hesitancy plays a crucial role in slowing down the efforts towards achieving an immunized and healthy society, particularly, children and women. VH is very conspicuous among the economically marginalized tribal and indigenous population. Previous research papers have not presented a comparative scenario between VH for RI and COVID-19 and have not discussed in detail different reasons behind VH from the gender perspective among tribal population. The key research question for this systematic review is whether the vaccine hesitancy for routine child vaccination among the tribal population will reduce or escalate or show no change after COVID-19 vaccination drive. This paper using Google Scholar database identified the research paper and reports, published between 2013 and 2023, and synthesized the factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy among the tribal population. While hesitancy due to reasons such as the safety and trust concerns, related to vaccines and the government; strong dependency on natural remedies; decision making dominated by social and cultural norms prevailing since ages; emerged as the key resistant in case of routine immunization among the tribal population, these were observed to be similar, to a large extent, in case of COVID-19, as well, in spite of two different age groups being the target of the vaccination drive. The paper identified key enablers and barriers of vaccine acceptance, which will be insightful for policy makers, healthcare agencies and professionals working to eliminate VH among tribal and indigenous population.

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