A whopping 80 per cent people in India believe that it is more difficult for a daily wage worker to get the Covid vaccine as compared to a salaried, middle-class person, as the innoculation drive was not equitable, according to a new report released on Tuesday.
The report by Oxfam India is based on the latest survey ‘Securing Rights of Patients in India’ conducted between August and September 2021 and receiving 10,955 responses.
The survey showed that 83 per cent people believed that all vaccination should be done completely free of cost through the government, like previous vaccination drives.
Only 2 per cent were in favour of higher taxes on fuel and food to fund India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive. In contrast, 55 per cent individuals believe that imposing a one-time tax of 1 per cent on the net worth of India’s richest 1000 families will be helpful.
“Only 27 per cent of our population have been fully vaccinated so far. In Oxfam India survey, 55 per cent of individuals believe that imposing a one-time tax of 1 per cent on the net worth of India’s richest 1000 families will be helpful to fund the entire vaccination programme at a cost of INR 500 billion ($6.8 billion). The poor and middle-class India mustn’t be burdened with higher taxes for the vaccination drive through fuel and food taxes,” said Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India, in a statement.
Further, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stated intention to not discriminate during the vaccination drive, 74 per cent respondents earning less than Rs 10,000 per month and over 60 per cent respondents from marginalised and minority communities felt that the government has failed in informing them about how and when to get vaccinated.
Nearly 90 per cent also believed that the government must ensure that marginalised groups such as street dwellers, migrant workers, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are given access to vaccination without having to furnish documentation.
Eight in 10 respondents also did not feel confident that India would be able to vaccinate all adults by December 2021. Challenges were also reported with the vaccination drive with 9 per cent of respondents saying that they had to lose a day’s wage to get themselves vaccinated; 43 per cent reported that the vaccination centres had run out of vaccines when they visited the centre.