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Covid vaccination shows gender gap with 46% women immunised against 54% men

Women’s health has been largely ignored due to patriarchal social norms, coupled with a lack of women’s agency in accessing health care (HT PHOTO)Premium
Women’s health has been largely ignored due to patriarchal social norms, coupled with a lack of women’s agency in accessing health care (HT PHOTO)

  • According to the vaccination data available with the union health ministry, around 14.99 crore women and 17.48 crore men have received covid-19 vaccines so far
  • While the government is also trying to bring guidelines for vaccinating pregnant women as well, public health experts have raised concerns over the lower number of women vaccinations against covid-19

In an apparent gender gap in nationwide covid-19 vaccination drives, over 54% of men have received vaccines against 46% of women.

According to the vaccination data available with the union health ministry, around 14.99 crore women and 17.48 crore men have received covid-19 vaccines so far. While the government is also trying to bring guidelines for vaccinating pregnant women as well, public health experts have raised concerns over the lower number of women vaccinations against covid-19.

"Women’s health has been largely ignored due to patriarchal social norms, coupled with a lack of women’s agency in accessing health care. Access and uptake of the covid-19 vaccine is a reflection of the persistent gender inequalities in society, which have crept into healthcare service delivery," Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of Population Foundation of India and public health expert.

“Only 46% of those vaccinated are women, as against 54% who are men. This gender gap is further exacerbated by the spread of rumours and misinformation regarding the impact of vaccination on women’s fertility," she said adding that not only must we address these myths and misconceptions but also make efforts to safeguard women’s overall health and wellbeing. It is critical at this time to ensure that women are treated fairly and equitably. Strong and simple messages and social and behaviour change communication campaigns will go a long way in bridging this gender divide," said Muttreja.

Lav Agarwal, joint secretary at Union Health Ministry at a press briefing said that the government is trying to bring more and more women to the vaccination centres and bridge this gender gap. "A total of 27.27crore people have been covered with the first dose of vaccine, whereas 5.84 crore people have been covered with the second dose of the vaccine. In total 33.11 crore people have been vaccinated in India so far," said Agarwal. India as on Tuesday administered over 33 crores vaccine doses.

While the total number of cases is decreasing in India, the number of Delta plus variant cases has risen to 51, the government said. Against the backdrop of emerging cases of the Delta Plus variant, the Maharashtra Government is gearing up to increase the speed of the vaccination drive in the state. State Government has said that it is ready to vaccinate 15 lakh people per day against covid-19. In Tamil Nadu one more person tested positive for the Delta Plus variant of the Covid-19 virus, taking the total number of persons tested positive for the variant to 10 in the state.

On a national level, the covid-19 cases are recording a decline. “There is a continued decline in cases since India reported a peak on 7th May with almost 91% decline in cases since the highest reported peak in daily new cases. A decline of 17% in average daily new cases in last week has been noted. There is a consistent decline in active cases – presently 5.52 lakh active cases. There is also a decrease in active Cases by more than 31.9 lakhs since the peak on 10th May and the decline by more than 85%," said Agarwal.

“We have also noted a sharp decline in weekly positivity. More than 85% decrease has been recorded since highest reported weekly positivity of 21.3%," said Agarwal.

India reported over 37,566 new covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours with 907 deaths.

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