Vaccine: Post slow start, Maha village finishes 1st dose round

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Aurangabad, Apr 30 (PTI) A small village in Aurangabad in Maharashtra that saw hesitation among its 500-odd residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has completed administering the first dose to all eligible beneficiaries, a local official said on Friday.

Janefal, a village in Phulambri taluka here, has 525 people, of which 75 are above the age of 45 years, and the first dose of the vaccine was administered to all eligible beneficiaries by April 27, said sarpanch Krushna Gawande.

'When the vaccination drive began for those above 45, there was lot of hesitation due to rumours of side-effects. On the day one was supposed to get vaccinated, he or she would just not be seen anywhere. We went door to door to convince people on the need to get vaccinated to contain the outbreak,' he told PTI.

'Even Anganwadi workers who carried out health surveys were not getting any cooperation from the villagers. However, we did not lose heart and those who went door to door for the drive patiently listened to apprehensions about the vaccine and cleared doubts,' Gawande said.

Dr Satish Sable of Ganori health centre nearby also pitched in as he is a native of Janefal.

'To overcome the reluctance of people, we vaccinated five who were willing and then let villagers observe them.

Soon, they realised the vaccine does not give rise to any side-effects. This way, we managed to vaccinate 68 of the 75 eligible beneficiaries on April 27. The rest seven could not be inoculated due to medical reasons,' Sable said.

Munir Pathan (52), a resident who took the vaccine by skipping fast for one day during the ongoing holy month of Ramzan, said,' My father, who is 90 years old, and my 85- year-old mother took the vaccine on April 27 along with me.

Seeing them getting inoculated at this age, other villagers also lined up to get their doses.' Sarpanch Gawande said the next session of counselling, to get people above the age of 18 go for vaccination from May 1, has already begun in Janefal with those who have taken the jab taking the lead. PTI AW BNM BNM