LAKHIMPUR: Even as long queues can be seen outside vaccination centres in Lakhimpur, vaccine hesitancy is a concern in various Mising community dominated rural areas under Dhakuakhana subdivision of the district.
In those areas, most of the people belonging to the Mising community have expressed hesitation to inoculate COVID vaccine due to some rumours that are spread like wildfire, leading them to drop their vaccine plans. These rumours spread in the days when COVID-19 vaccines were administered to the people over the age of 45 years. The rumours are that the COVID-19 vaccine will lead men to impotency and women to loss of their fertility, and can cause weakness and even death in a span of two years.
Haunted by such baseless rumours, the people of those areas have showed no enthusiasm to come to the vaccine centres set up by the District Health Department. As a result of it, the Health Department had to keep the vaccine centres closed for the time being in several places.
Realizing the untoward situation, however, Sunil Kumar Pegu, the general member of Mising Autonomous Council (MAC) from No. 21 Pub Dhakuakhana Council Constituency, has come forward to dispel these rumours in association with Pub Dhakuakhana, Matmora, Pachim Machkhowa regional committees of Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK), Mising Sangram Samiti and Mising Mahila Samiti under the auspices of MAC, and launched a series of awareness campaign on COVID vaccine and testing.
The awareness campaign kick-started on July 2, under which awareness meetings were held at several Mising community-dominated areas.