DHUBRI: Low vaccination rate against COVID-19 due to rumours and lack of awareness has been reported in South Salmara-Mancachar district.
Though the health department of South Salmara-Mancachar district set a target to vaccinate 3.5 lakh people in the district, till now it could vaccinate only 26,390, which remains a major cause of concern. In May, around 26,000 vaccines were returned and sent to the nearby districts where there was shortage, an official said.
In view of this, an NGO and a Gaon Panchayat took up the initiative of distributing food items to those who take the vaccine. An official in the health department said that due to misconception and strong rumours that after taking vaccination people could die or develop health complications resulting in infertility, people refrained from taking vaccination in the district bordering Bangladesh.
When contacted, a social activist named Kabir Mondal said that apart from the rumours of developing impotency and other health problems, poor villagers were completely unaware and ignorant about COVID-19 and did not want to believe in it. "Further, villagers are of the opinion that if they go for vaccination, the whole day is wasted and no one will compensate the loss of wages for the day," Mondal added.
In view of this, Mancachar unit of Marwari Yuva Manch has been distributing three days' ration to those who are coming to Simanta Chetana Manch, Purvottar COVID-19 vaccination centre in Mancachar town.
Similarly, in Pushnimari-Jordanga Gaon Panchayat, a GP adopted by Dhubri MP Badruddin Ajmal in 2014 as Model village, 5 kg rice is being given to a person who comes for vaccination.
A source in health department in the district when contacted, informed that para-medic teams of the Health Department of South Salmara-Mancachar district have now started going door-to-door and are creating awareness by miking, sticking posters and other ways in order to convince the people about this pandemic situation and to take vaccine.