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Health workers battle vaccine hesitancy in remote tribal villages of Bihar

Health workers battle vaccine hesitancy in remote tribal villages of Bihar

The hesitation for getting vaccinated is being fuelled by rumours and superstitions surrounding the Covid vaccination.

Authorities in several districts of Bihar are facing a major issue of getting the people in rural areas vaccinated due to the prevalent hesitancy for vaccination.

Even though the state government is constantly running campaigns and trying to send awareness teams to far-flung areas in order to sensitise people regarding the Covid-19 vaccination, not much impact has been created yet.

One such area is Chakai in Naxal hit Jamui district where people are not coming forward to get vaccinated. The hesitation for getting vaccinated is being fuelled by rumours and superstitions surrounding the Covid vaccination.

The situation is such that the health workers are walking to inaccessible areas from one village to another but they have to return without vaccinating anyone.  This situation was also seen in Simaria village of Chakai block where health workers kept waiting endlessly. They set up a vaccination camp at a middle school in the Chandramandih area around 12 pm on Monday but to their disappointment, no one came to take the shot.

The manager of Chakai Referral Hospital Upendra Chaudhary, who is monitoring the vaccination campaign, said people in tribal-dominated Dulampur and Faritaya Deh Panchayats have also refused to take the coronavirus vaccination to protect themselves against the virus.

Similar reactions were received from the tribal village Tetaria. Health workers roamed from house to house, pleading with the locals to get vaccinated but no one agreed.

Rajiv Shekhar, who is associated with the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Chakai, said rumours have been spread among the locals that they will fall ill after taking the vaccine. While awareness campaigns have been held in different areas assuring them about the safety of the vaccines no one is ready to believe.

Complete vaccination against Covid-19 is said to be very important to end the global pandemic. Both the Central and the state governments have repeatedly requested those eligible and above the age of 18 years to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

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