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India Covid: Vaccine hesitancy drops in rural areas; all 45-plus now vaccinated in Janefal

Web Report/Aurangabad
Filed on May 11, 2021

Janefal has emerged as one of the few villages in India with 100 per cent vaccination of all in the 45-plus category.


While millions of people in Indian cities are eager to get Covid vaccinations, the situation is quite different in many rural areas.

In Janefal, a remote village in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district, for instance, the local authorities had a tough time in convincing the villagers to get vaccinated, as many were scared with misconceptions being spread by superstitious people.

But finally, after weeks of struggle in trying to convince the village folk about the need for Covid vaccinations, Janefal has emerged as one of the few villages in India with 100 per cent vaccination of all in the 45-plus category.

Krishna Gawande, the head of the village, told a journalist that it took a month to convince the people to opt for vaccination. Many cited videos that they had seen, which claimed that villagers had died after getting vaccinated, and others referred to patients having their arms being amputated because of infections.

The village leaders then organised awareness camps involving officials and NGOs and convincing people about the false news that were being circulated. “These camps helped bring about change,” said Sarla Zhalte, an activist. The first lot of volunteers who came for the vaccinations were the women.

The success of the campaign in Janefal has seen its emergence as a role model that many other villages across the state and even in different parts of India are hoping to emulate. Dr Satish Sabale, a medical officer, said other villagers are now clamouring for such vaccination camps.





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