While the country continues to struggle with the second wave of Covid-19 infections, there are only two ways to curb the spread of virus- following Covid appropriate behaviour and getting vaccinated. But, the country seems to be staggering on both fronts.
After the first wave came under control, both the government and the people became careless. On the other hand, with the sudden rise in infections during the second wave, people rushed to get inoculated leading to shortage of vaccines. The government was apparently not ready to deal with this situation.
Besides, in many parts of the country, especially in small towns, people are hesitating to get vaccinated due to various misconceptions about it. The current situation reminds of the polio vaccine hesitancy. Reportedly, women fear that they may get high fever after inoculation and will not be able to take care of daily chores. Such fears and misconceptions are truly astounding. We are living in the 21st century, but are still not able to get over the orthodox thinking.
While there’s an acute shortage of vaccines on metros, small towns and villages have sufficient supply, where people are hesitating to get vaccinated. In many places, to minimise wastage, the government has directed that the vaccine vials will be opened only if there are 8-10 people who are willing to get vaccinated.
In the given situation, the only way to allay the fear of vaccine is to carry out large-scale public awareness campaign. This can be best done through panchayats, village heads, urban bodies, primary health centers and the government.
Just as booth agents bring people from door to door during elections, panchayats and government machinery must work in tandem to allay vaccine fears. Scarcity of vaccine in cities and government’s lack of foresight, the country is suffering huge losses.
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