Vax drive picks up in Old City as residents ignore rumours of infertility, impotency

There were also rumours about people losing their PDS-linked monthly rations

Hyderabad: Ever since the vaccination began for Covid19, Old City residents were harbouring fears of "adverse consequences" about having the shots, as rumours about alleged ill-effects of the vaccines were many. The scenario is changing for the better.

Social media messages kept saying how Covid19 vaccines would result in “impotency, infertility and death within two years.” There were also rumours about people losing their PDS-linked monthly rations. All these resulted in a stiff resistance to vaccines among the residents of the Old City.

However, the arrival of the Omicron variant appears to have changed their mindset. More and more people from the Old City are now coming forward to get vaccinated against Covid19.

According to some estimates, more than 60 per cent of the Old City population was reticent about having the jabs as they subscribed to these rumours.

On Tuesday, however, large numbers of people were seen at the vaccination centers in Shaheenagar, Bandlaguda, Yakutpura, Madannapet, Towli Chowki etc. Among them were many burqa-clad women along with their teenage daughters lining up for vaccination in Bandlaguda, Shaheenagar, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar etc.

“It was two months ago that my husband insisted that I should not take the vaccine. I suggested that he rather consult a doctor instead of following viral videos. He did so and then, along with my two daughters, rushed to the vaccination center today,” Shabana Begum. Begum took her first dose at Rajiv Gandhi Nagar.

“Workers of some non-governmental organisations, along with medical teams, are going door-to-door explaining about the deadly effects of Omicron. After hearing them, I agreed to get vaccinated. Today’s was my first dose and I will also take the second jab,” said Mamta Devi, a resident of Jellapally.

Student Rukhsana Begum said, “I have gone through the news and counseled my family about the importance of vaccine. It can save lives and we are here to get our shots.”

At a vaccination centre, a newly married woman, before getting vaccinated, asked the health staff if would lead to infertility, or if her ration card would be cancelled based on the personal data she provided for her vaccination. She was effectively convinced this would not be so, following which she took her first dose.

The fear over impotency too lurked around and it took a lot of counseling to convince men about this. “We are seeing the results of our work, along with that of doctors, now that the people are coming forward to get vaccinated,” Mohammed Askari, who works for the NGO Helping Hands, said.

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