VIJAYAWADA: Ward and village volunteers are visiting houses of targeted beneficiaries aged above 45 years to persuade the reluctant ones to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
Given the steady rise in the number of coronavirus infections across the state, the state government directed health authorities to concentrate on highly populated urban areas and villages. It recently extended vaccination centres to ward and village secretariats to be within the reach of people.
With the inclusion of people aged above 45 years, health authorities identified the beneficiaries at all levels. They fixed a daily target of 500 people in each ward secretariat and nearly 300 at each village secretariat. The vaccination schedule will be from 9 am to 5 pm with a possible extension by an hour if the need arises.
Volunteers and ASHA workers campaign in the targetted areas a day before the vaccine date. However, some beneficiaries are failing to turn up for varied reasons. At this juncture, the volunteers and ASHA workers list out those who have missed out and by afternoon visit their houses and persuade them to take the vaccine. Those who refuse to take the jab cite reasons that include fear of side-effects like fever and body pains, blood pressure and blood sugar and further health complications, instances of death of some people after vaccination.
A ward volunteer said, “We are even explaining about our personal experiences and also inform them that if they fail to get the jab being given free of charge, they will become vulnerable to getting infected with the virus. Some people are giving up their inhibitions after personal persuasion and are coming for the jab.”
Health director Dr T. Geetha Prasadini said “As we have targetted to administer Covid vaccine at least for 90% of beneficiaries, we are sending volunteers and ASHA workers to visit the houses of those who fail to turn up and convince them about the need to take the jab.”