Sharmili Mallick

At a time when the Odisha Government has been launching campaigns in urban and rural areas to inoculate people to achieve 100 per cent coverage at the earliest, a vaccination team that reached Talsari village under Badakhaman panchayat in Udala block of Mayurbhanj district were detained by the local residents for several hours on Monday evening.

Later, Udala Block Development Officer (BDO), local Tehsildar and police rushed to the spot and rescued the vaccination team, including an Anganwadi worker and an ASHA worker following a discussion with the villagers after six hours. 

As per reports, some villagers of Talsari were given Covid-19 vaccination shot yesterday. Later in the day, the Anganwadi and ASHA workers visited the village for inoculating the remaining villagers.

However, the non-vaccinated residents questioned the vaccination team about the reason behind the inoculation drive as they were healthy and fit. The villagers further told they will get their shot after the harvest season of paddy.

When the Anganwadi and ASHA workers tried to pursue the villagers to get the vaccine shots, the infuriated villagers allegedly detained the team.

Anganwadi worker, Soumya Sucharita Murmu said, “I reached the village at around 2 pm and since then I was kept detained by the villagers. I tried to pursue them to get vaccination but they did not hear us. They told that there is nothing called Coronavirus.”

A local resident, Surendra Murmu alleged, “The vaccination team forcefully vaccinated some people during a campaign. The harvest season has started and the villagers are engaged in harvesting paddy crops. If we fall ill after getting vaccinated, how will we carry out harvesting work.”

"There is miscommunication and lack of awareness about the vaccine among the villagers. We will conduct an awareness drive on it. The villagers said as the harvesting of crops is underway, they have many farming woks to do and are afraid of getting ill now. Therefore, they said that will receive the shots later. We will have a discussion with them on it soon,” said the BDO, Debjani Bhuyan.

(Edited By Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)