Even as people across the State are making a beeline in front of various healthcare facilities to get them vaccinated, health workers in tribal-dominated Rayagada district are often greeted by empty houses with people deserting their villages fearing vaccines.
Vaccine hesitancy still prevailed in some villages of the district putting the health workers in a quandary. It has become a daunting task for the vaccinators to inoculate the tribal population here.
Whenever the residents hear about visit of medical team, they desert the village and hide themselves in the forest. It was learnt that rumours of people dying after taking vaccine triggered fear in the minds of the tribal people prompting them to abandon their villages.
Residents of Kailaspur panchyat are seen locking up the doors of their houses and moving to other places fearing the vaccine shots.
Brunda Heprika, a resident of Champakana village said, “People flee when they are asked to go for vaccination. They are not cooperating with the health workers and do not go to the vaccination centres. They claim others are falling sick and even dying after taking the jabs.”
After waiting for hours, the health teams are returning without administering the jabs.
Similar situation prevailed in Kiajhola, Taralabadi and other villages in the district.
“After the Covid-19 situation improved, we started getting works now-a-days. But people are getting fever after taking the vaccine preventing from work. Therefore, some people are hesitating to take the shots,” said Narendra Heprika, a resident of Kiajhola.
Meanwhile, the health officer stressed for widespread awareness on vaccination to dispel the vaccine hesitancy.
Dr G Sailaja, in-charge of Kolnara CHC, said, “The health team waited for several hours but none turned up to receive the vaccine shots. The residents fled the village after locking their doors. There is need for creation of awareness among the people.”