Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
Pradhans roped in to inject ‘vaccine confidence’ into villagers
Today, I got 250 people registered online in my village and they will be vaccinated in a day or two. If we have to vaccinate people in villages, we have to reach out to them. RAM LAL JAYAN, pradhan of Tendura village in Bhisanda block
KANPUR : The health department has started holding vaccination camps in villages of Banda district of Bundelkhand to help rural folk overcome vaccine hesitancy. Gram pradhans have also been roped in to dispel misinformation about the vaccine among people.
Chief medical officer (Banda) ND Sharma said vaccine hesitancy in villages is a fact and many departments have been mobilised to accelerate the vaccination campaign, particularly in villages.
Though 1.30 lakh people have so far been inoculated against Covid in the district, most of the beneficiaries are in Banda town and vaccination in rural areas is extremely sluggish, said health department officials.
“That is why it has been decided to hold camps in villages. Today, I got 250 people registered online in my village and they will be vaccinated in a day or two. If we have to vaccinate people in villages, we have to reach out to them. Waiting for them at community or primary health centres will not help,” said Ram Lal Jayan, pradhan of Tendura village in Bhisanda block.
Jayan held a series of meetings with sector magistrate and other officials for the camps to be held in the villages. “I have urged them to organise several such camps to cover the entire population,” he added.
In the past one week, people who took their first jab met others and persuaded them to get inoculated. “They were going to door to door sharing their experiences post vaccination. The 250 registrations in the past three days is a result of this exercise,” said Jayan.
People in the nearby Chausar village are extremely wary of vaccination. Many ran away when the health department teams visited them. Their biggest fear is about death after taking the jab, said Vishambhar Singh Kushwaha, a local.
“People think that immunity becomes zero for 10 days after the vaccine It’s a myth that this period makes one vulnerable to catching coronavirus. They also fear fever after vaccination, said Ram Vilakshan of Tendura village. “The mindset will take lot of effort to change. But when the change is happening, the vaccine is short in supply,” said Raju Shrivas, pradhan of Katra Kalinjar. “We had 120 doses against registration of 230 in my village. Nearly 100 people had to return without being vaccinated today,” he said.
Similarly, Ranno Patel, pradhan of Ragauli Bhatpura village said the shortage of vaccines hit the efforts to boost inoculation drive.