Villagers in Karnataka’s Yadgir district shut their doors to the COVID-19 vaccination drive.
Karnataka: Besides COVID-19, there is another popular virus that has infected so many people for a very long time now– ‘Vaccine hesitancy’. One such recent incident took place in Karnataka’s Yadgir district where villagers literally shut their doors to the COVID-19 vaccination drive. The health department officials had to come with other ways to administer the vaccine. They are now campaigning at agricultural farms, market places and any other areas where people could possibly come. Residents in Kanchagarahalli village in Yadgir district locked their houses, hid inside their home and did not answer when health officials and ASHA workers visited to inoculate them. The video went viral on social media for days. In the video, a woman is shown locking her house in order to escape the health officials. In another viral video of the same kind, a woman is seen shouting at officials, claiming she is fine and there is no need for her or her family members to take the vaccine shot.
- Vaccine hesitancy is more among villagers
Vaccine resistance is coming a lot from villagers, said Indumati Patil, District Health Officer (DHO), Yadgir district, as told to Indianexpress.com. There is a misconception that vaccines will lead to sickness, so people are not ready to take one. We tried reaching them at their home but they locked their doors. So we decided to go with awareness campaigns to take the vaccine wherever possible. We then collected details of the villagers those registered under the MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) from the Gram Panchayat office and headed towards farm fields and work sites, she added. Officials stated that their experience in the pulse polio campaign helped them transport vaccines on their two-wheelers and vaccinate people wherever available.
- Vaccine campaign in farm fields
Initially, villagers were asked to visit the Primary Health centres for vaccination. But the officials were not sure if they would show up; which would ultimately lead to vaccine wastage. They then decided to begin with the vaccine campaign in farm fields since the farmers at this time are busy sowing tur dal and moong dal in their fields. Some villagers fled in fear that we would forcefully administer a jibe, said Dr Lakshmikanth. So we decided to hold an awareness camp in the villages. There were some people who not only received the jab but also helped in creating confidence in other villagers, he added.