Bengaluru: Vaccine hesitancy still high, just 13% jabbed in BBMP limits | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: An abysmal 13% of the registered frontline workers got inoculated against Covid-19 on Tuesday in the BBMP limits, raising questions over the authorities’ ability to address the issue of vaccine hesitancy. While 13,126 frontline workers were to get the jab at 191 session sites, only 1,718 turned up, confirming that vaccine fears still rule among the targeted beneficiaries.
The turnout at Vaccine Mela, held at the BBMP headquarters where top civic administrators were to lead by example, was marginally better. Of the 600 to be vaccinated at the mela, 127 turned up. BBMP administrator Gaurav Gupta, commissioner Manjunath Prasad, special commissioner (health) P Rajendra Cholan sought to set an example by taking the vaccine, but its desired impact was missing.

Commissioner Prasad said frontline workers’ hesitancy stems from the fears that they would not be able to consume alcohol.
“There is no rule that one should not consume alcohol after vaccination. Every medicine has dos and don’ts,” Prasad told TOI.
“There is no compulsion to get the vaccine. It is a matter of choice. We are happy to inoculate any frontline worker who comes forward to take the jab,” Cholan said.
Several pourakarmikas have given wrong phone numbers to avoid being contacted for the drive, officials said. “When we call and ask them to come to the primary health centre, they say it’s a wrong number and disconnect the call. Nobody wants the jab, which is sad,” said a senior medical officer from a PHC near Fraser Town.
Many gave wrong contact numbers


Similar incidents were reported from other PHCs across the city. Pourakarmikas make no bones about their suspicions over the vaccine. “Why should we take it when political leaders are hesitant to take it? We will trust the vaccine only after they take it,” Rangappa L, a pourakarmika, said in front of officials at the BBMP headquarters.
When officials said only frontline workers are being vaccinated now on priority and others’ turn will come later, Rangappa stuck to his stance. Pourakarmika Nagaraju S said getting vaccinated is not compulsory. “When it’s made mandatory, then I’ll think about it,” he said.
“We are motivating frontline workers to get inoculation. We will soon roll out a programme for others,” said P Rajendra Cholan | special commissioner (health).
Poor response in Mangaluru
The phase 2 of Covid-19 vaccination drive, that was launched on Monday for frontline workers from four government departments in Mangaluru, received poor response.
The district administration identified 8,546 frontline workers from police, revenue, panchayat raj departments and urban local bodies for vaccination in three days. However, only 1,211 (14.17%) have received the shot in the first two days.
On day two of the drive, 32.8% frontline workers from four government departments received the shot. While the health department had planned to vaccinate 1,954 workers on Tuesday, only 641 turned up. On the first day, 570 out 2,750 frontline workers (20.72%) had received the vaccine.
In phase 1 of the drive, 25,182 of 52,381 beneficiaries had received the vaccine since January 16. The district has achieved 48.07% of the target in this drive.

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Sagar Biswas

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