In an extreme example of vaccine hesitancy, a group of people in Barabanki’s Sisaurha village jumped into the Saryu river after seeing a team of health officials coming to vaccinate them against Covid-19.
It is believed by the experts that widespread vaccination can help us to get herd immunity which is necessary to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. This is why the Centre has been urging states and Union Territories to ramp up the vaccination drive. But despite the continuous campaign and widespread publicity, vaccine hesitancy continues to prevail across the country, especially in the rural areas.
Rumors and several myths spreading across the country is creating fear to get vaccine shot among people. In the same way in a recent incident, a group of residents of Sisaurha village in Barabanki district, Uttar Pradesh jumped into the Saryu river to evade vaccination on Sunday.
A team of health officials had gone to the village to vaccinate local residents, but about 200 villagers ran away seeing the health officials. Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Ramnagar Tehsil, Rajiv Kumar Shukla, told IANS that when the health officials tried to chase them, they jumped into the Saryu river.
Later on, villagers revealed that why they don’t want to get the Covid-19 vaccine jab. A local farmer, Shishupal, told IANS that he knows about people who after getting vaccinated had to be hospitalised and that many have died even after getting the jab.
He said, “Jab marna hi hai to vaccine kyon?”
Not just he is convinced that the Coronavirus vaccine is damaging, but Shishupal, who has done enrolment, is also telling people telling the same to others in the village.
He said, “I have got this information from several of my friends who work in big cities. I am convinced as the local officials have not answered my queries. My own uncle, who worked in Delhi, died a month after having both vaccine shots. What more proof do I need.”
On the other hand, another resident Mohd Ahsan, who hesitated to take the jab said that there is no guarantee that people will not get infected after the vaccine shot as according to many reports there are people who are getting infected even after taking both the vaccine shots. He further said, the government should only give the vaccination to only those who want it and shouldn’t be pushing everyone for vaccination.
One of the most common rumor is that ‘Vaccine Causes Impotence’ Rumour that is Driving Men Away:
Among the prevailing rumors in the UP village, an interesting one is that the vaccine causes ‘impotence’ and this is one of the responsible reasons which is driving men away.
The officials had a hard time in convincing the people to come out of the river, said the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Ramnagar tehsil. Then he explained to the villagers about the importance and benefits of vaccination, and tried to dispel the myths, but even then, only 18 villagers came forward to get the jabs, he said.
On the other hand, the villagers said they jumped into the river because some people had warned them that it was a poisonous injection.
Meanwhile, all possible efforts are being taken to convivence the villagers about the benefits of vaccination and to dismiss fallacies, said the Nodal Officer Rahul Tripathi.