New survey finds adult vaccination knowledge gaps in India; 43% of adults feel that they lack knowledge about adult vaccines

International News National News

GSK today announced the findings from the ‘Vaccinate for Life’ survey carried out between the dates of July 6th to September 14th whereby 2,002 adults across 6 cities in India were surveyed (Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai). The survey was aimed at ascertaining the awareness and attitudes towards vaccination throughout life among adults aged 18 years and over.
Highlights of the survey in India are as below:
While 42% of adults ranked staying in good physical health as the primary priority to them in life, staying up-to-date with vaccinations is typically less important compared with other ways of staying healthy such as eating healthily, keeping active and not smoking, particularly among males.

1) The majority of adults surveyed in India believe that although vaccines are an effective way to prevent serious illness, however:
a. 34% believe them only to be required for travel purposes
b. 38% believe vaccinations are for children and/or babies only
c. 26% believe vaccinations are not required if one is fit and healthy
d. 19% believe vaccinations are for the older population only
2) 43% of the adults surveyed consider themselves to be not very/not at all knowledgeable about adult vaccines
3) Almost half (49%) of adults are most likely to turn to HCPs for advice on vaccinations over any other source of information
4) Of those adults who have not consulted an HCP about adult vaccines in the past year, the key barriers are trust in their HCP to inform them of relevant vaccines combined with a lack of conversation with their HCP on the need to vaccinate throughout adulthood (75% of adults agreeing). Between 45% and 50% of adults listed Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and the HPV vaccine as most relevant to the 18-64 years’ audience
a. Awareness of other vaccines which may be relevant is relatively low
b. 31% of adults surveyed have not received any vaccination in the past five years
Adults value a range of information sources in helping them to understand record and track the vaccinations which are relevant to them → online tools, booklets and text messaging being the most useful

Speaking about the Vaccinate for Life survey, – A. Vaidheesh, Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited said, “The results of the survey highlight the crying need for awareness about adult vaccination in the country. Most people are familiar with the importance of vaccination in childhood however vaccination is equally important throughout life: for adolescents, adults and older people. According to the UNICEF and the World Bank, only clean drinking water rivals vaccination in its ability to save lives2. Despite this longstanding recommendation, the adult vaccination numbers are substantially low. The main reason behind this is a lack of general awareness – a fact that is amply established by the results of the survey.”
Speaking about the campaign, Dr. Shafi Kolhapure, Vice President Medical Affairs Vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited said, “The Vaccinate for Life campaign has been created in response to the global health need for increased adult vaccination rates. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that immunisation is one of the most cost-effective interventions in public health and as one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, GSK is committed to creating general awareness about vaccines and to partner with others to encourage vaccination throughout life.”
Kolkata Data
The survey brought out some interesting results from Kolkata too. 29% of adults classified staying in good health as their top priority, followed by being comfortable financially at 26%, a successful career at 16%, raising a family at 11%, owning a house at 9%, and travelling the world at 4%. In terms of staying up-to-date with healthy habits, most Kolkatans i.e. 71% listed eating healthy at the top. Next came not smoking voted by 66%, exercising daily – 65%, staying up-to-date with vaccinations – 53%, regular health check-ups – 45%, screening for cancer – 45% and regular dental checks – 31%. 75% of Kolkatan parents believe that keeping up-to-date on their children’s immunisation is far more important than their own.
Belief %age
Adult vaccines are an effective way of helping prevent serious illness 73%
Adult vaccinations are paid for by the government/insurance companies 28%
For adults aged above 18, vaccinations only for travel purposes 33%
Vaccinations not needed if you are healthy 25%
Vaccinations for babies only 43%
Vaccinations for senior population only 26%

As far as trusted sources of information on vaccines, adults depend on a range of options – 69% Kolkatans rated health care professionals as their most trusted source followed by:
• 38% magazines,
• 42% friends and family
• 40% Government websites
• 35% media reports
• 21% internet searches,
• 18% vaccine manufacturer websites
• 8% bloggers and online forums,
• 8% said they would go by celebrities’ views too.
(Percentage of adults ranking source of information in their top 3)

About GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited is a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline plc, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For more information, visit

About Vaccinate for Life

Vaccinate for Life is a global campaign to improve general awareness of the benefits of vaccination throughout life and encourage more conversations between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and their adult patients on vaccination.


About the Vaccinate for Life Survey

Vaccinate for Life Global General Public Survey

The ‘Vaccinate for Life Survey’ was carried out between July and September 2017 via an online survey of adults aged 18 years and over, with an achieved sample of 6,002 respondents, from five countries (Brazil, Germany, India, Italy and the United States). The sample composition in each market was as follows:


Brazil Germany India Italy United States
General Public 1000 1000 2002 1000 1000




Important note on sample definition by market

In four of the five markets (Brazil, Italy, Germany and the United States) the sample was collected according to the following sample specifications:

  • Respondents must be aged 18 years or over.
  • Quotas were placed at time of recruitment to ensure that the total sample achieved is nationally representative in terms of Age, Region and working status.
  • A bias towards females (60% vs. 40% males) was applied however the data was subsequently weighted to represent national statistics.


In India* the sample was collected according to the following specifications:

  • Respondents must be aged 18 years or over.
  • The total sample of n=2002 was recruited from 6 cities only; Mumbai (n=429), Delhi (n=418), Bangalore (n=404), Kolkata (n=244), Chennai (n=280) and Hyderabad (n=227).
  • A bias towards females (60% vs. 40% males) was applied however the market level data was subsequently weighted to represent national statistics.


* Data for India is based on 6 cities only (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad)



  1. World Health Organization (WHO). World Immunization Week 2017. (Last accessed October 2017).
  2. Plotkin SL & Plotkin SA. Chapter 1 in Plotkin SA et al. Vaccines. 6th Edition, Elsevier Saunders, 2012.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.