Bhopal (Madhya Pradeh): With the focus on spreading awareness to make people shed misconceptions about the vaccination drive, especially in the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh, the people have started realising that vaccination is the only potent weapon to stop the spread of the Covid-19 infection.
The evidence of this shift in attitude among the rural population towards vaccination in the state has emerged with the 100 per cent vaccination already carried out across several Gram Panchayats in the state.
Vaccination drive is taking place in full swing in Madhya Pradesh with more than two crore people having been vaccinated till now. At the starting of the vaccination drive in rural areas, several hurdles were faced by the administration and the people conducting the vaccination drive. In many places, incidents of misbehaving with the vaccination teams also came to light.
It was a challenge before the government to eliminate the confusion among the people residing in villages as they felt that vaccination could lead to death or cause impotency. To deal with these situations, different strategies were prepared and implemented at the district level.
In Betul district, the priests of the tribal population came forward to tell the people that vaccination is the only way to prevent coronavirus infection and the misconceptions spread about it were false. This effort had a ripple effect and the tribals received the vaccine jabs.
As the pace of the vaccination campaign increased, the efforts made to spread awareness among the people living in the rural areas started showing positive outcome. In Jabalpur district, the vaccination data that has emerged from the rural areas has given a boost to the administration and the state government. Hundred per cent vaccination has been undertaken across the 33 Gram Panchayats in Jabalpur. In rural areas of this district, a greater number of vaccinations have been done than the target set by the state government.
Calling positive thinking behind the awareness spread among the people in the villages, Jabalpur District Magistrate Karmaveer Sharma said this was possible only due to the joint efforts of the Health, Revenue and Rural Development Department, including Anganwadi workers, public representatives and members of Village Disaster Management Committee, as well as villagers coming forward for vaccination.
Similarly, Jamui Gram Panchayat of Shahdol district has also been 100 per cent vaccinated. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said vaccination is a potent way to prevent Covid-19 infection. Every Gram Panchayat in the state needs to undergo vaccination as a protective shield just like the Jamui villagers of Shahdol district.
CM Chouhan said, "Coronavirus has not been eliminated yet but we all have to learn to live in this pandemic. According to experts, there is a possibility of a third wave of Covid-19 hitting the state. The state government is fully prepared for handling the third wave effectively and all necessary arrangements are being made in advance for this purpose.
At the same time, there are incidents of chaos, overcrowding by people and non-availability of vaccines at vaccination centres reported from many areas.
Expressing concerns about the overcrowding by people in the state for vaccination, former Chief Minister Kamal Nath said, "There have been reports of huge crowd gatherings and stampede-like situations in many areas during the vaccination drive undertaken in the state. The state government should increase the number of vaccination centres and the days of conducting vaccination. To gather people at a particular place amid fear of a third wave of Covid-19 is putting their lives at a risk."