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Amid vaccine hesitancy in Punjab, this Moga village is leading by example – 370 inoculated, 175 are 60+

In Saffuwala village in block Daroli Bhai of Moga, 370 of its residents (above 45 years of age) have already gotten vaccinated, including 175 aged 60 and above.

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana |
Updated: April 16, 2021 5:49:00 am
ASHA workers, Covid-19, Covid-19 India second wave, Moga district administration, Indian Express news, Punjab covid casesA sensitization drive fwas held to tell villagers that vaccine was the only way to stay protected from Covid

WHILE THE Punjab health department has been busy fighting ‘vaccine hesitancy’ even among its own healthcare workers apart from the general public, a small village in Moga district is leading by an example.

In Saffuwala village in block Daroli Bhai of Moga, 370 of its residents (above 45 years of age) have already gotten vaccinated, including 175 aged 60 and above. In fact, 250 of them were vaccinated in a single day during a camp held at the village Wednesday, said Dr Indervir Singh Gill, senior medical officer (SMO), Community Health Centre (CHC), Daroli Bhai.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Lakhwant Singh (47), sarpanch of the village, said that to shun vaccine hesitancy in the village, he first got vaccinated himself, following which other villagers were also convinced that the vaccine was safe. “Before organising the camp, we also held a sensitization drive from door to door to tell people that vaccine was the only way to stay protected from coronavirus. Much to our own surprise, we did not have to put extra efforts and the people in our village, especially the elderly above 60, are coming forward on their own to get vaccinated,” said the sarpanch.

“Villagers in their 60s, 70s, 80s and even above are getting vaccinated,” he added.

Dr Gill said: “The camp in the village was held on the initiative of the panchayat. Unlike other villages where there is vaccine hesitancy and people do not come forward easily to get the jab, people in Saffuwala cooperate with health teams. Even during the testing, villagers here had volunteered to give samples and we had even collected 150 samples a day from Saffuwala,” said Dr Gill, adding that a special camp would again be held in Saffuwala for the second dose. “It is never easy to record 250 jabs a day in a village seeing the rumours and other myths being spread in Punjab related to the vaccine,” he added.

Dr Gill said that the credit also goes to the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers in the village who worked hard to shun vaccine hesitancy and clear doubts in the minds of the people related to the safety of the vaccine.

Moga Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Hans, while commending Lakhwant Singh and panchayat of Saffuwala, called upon other panchayats to come forward for maximum sampling and vaccination. He said panchayat members of Saffuwala including the sarpanch were present in the camp throughout the day and kept encouraging people for vaccination.

Honorariums for CHOs, ANMs, ASHA workers

To ramp up the Covid vaccination drive, the Moga district administration Thursday announced that community health officers (CHOs), auxiliary nursing midwives (ANMs) and accredited social health activists (ASHA) workers would be given honorarium for meeting a certain target of doses.

Moga Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Hans said that these honorariums would be given at government Health Wellness Centres across the district where vaccination was being done. If more than 80 doses are given in that centre in a day, the CHO and ANM working there will be given Rs 100 per day and ASHA worker will be given an honorarium of Rs 5 per dose. —ENS

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