Lalitha, one among the many quite a few Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) staff who kind the spine of the vaccination drive in Telangana, goes door to door at Shadnagar in Ranga Reddy district, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. She says vaccination is a novel problem as a result of Shadnagar is a well-developed city space however just a few residents step out to get vaccinated.
Dressed in a white cotton saree, Lalitha together with a nurse principally has to coax residents to take the Covid-19 vaccine. “The first response when I knock on a door is that they do not want to take the vaccine. They say they have heard that a person taking the vaccine falls sick or develops high fever for several days or the injection causes body aches. With some of the residents, no amount of convincing works,” she says.
She says she is stunned by the objections and excuses given by folks whereas refusing the vaccine. “It is an urban area but many residents still believe in rumours and hearsay that taking the vaccine will make them fall ill. If one or two persons who took the vaccine get fever or body ache, that gets amplified and the news spreads everywhere and everyone turns against the vaccine,” she mentioned.
So, how does she persuade folks to lastly take the vaccine? “First, I try to dispel the myths, and tell them that falling ill after taking the vaccine is rare. Then I tell them that health workers are able to move around freely to give vaccines because we ourselves are fully vaccinated, and it gives good protection against the Covid-19. Then I also inform them that a third wave of Covid-19 is predicted and it can be very deadly for people who are not vaccinated, and it can have serious consequences on their health if they are not fortified with the vaccine. We have managed to convince many with these explanations,” she says. Ever since Lalitha and her crew began vaccinating in May, they’ve managed to vaccinate approximately 800 out of 1,000 folks in her jurisdiction.
She says the commonest chorus from a number of males for not taking the vaccine is that they gained’t have the ability to “drink and eat” for a number of days after taking the vaccine.