Chandigarh’s GMCH-32 starts awareness drive to counter vaccine hesitancy
Doubt clearing sessions, peer persuasion and constant reminders through WhatsApp messages are among the key steps Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, administration is taking to motivate health workers to get inoculated against Covid-19.
Chandigarh, like other parts of the country, is witnessing a tepid response to the vital Covid shot among health workers, prompting the hospital authorities to launch awareness sessions.
Since the launch of GMCH’s vaccination drive on January 16, during which the authorities targeted 800 such workers for inoculation at its two on-campus sites, only 285 came forward till Friday.
“Based on the data of employees hesitant to take the shot, we have chosen our target group. It has been found that doctors and students have been inoculated in good numbers, but there is a need to educate and inform groups like nurses, sanitation and clerical staff about the need for vaccination. A few awareness sessions have been conducted and the response is good so far,” said Dr Jasbinder Kaur, GMCH director- principal.
The hospital is organising physical doubt clearing sessions for the workers to pose questions directly to the experts so that confidence can be built for the exercise.
“Employees suffering from hypertension and diabetes are the most sceptical about getting vaccinated. So, we inform them accordingly and encourage them to take the shot. We have already started seeing the impact of our drive as many staffers after these sessions report directly to the vaccination sites,” said Prof Deepak Chawla, GMCH nodal officer for Covid vaccination.
He added that the health workers at the hospital want to get certain about their safety post-vaccination. “Most of the employees just want to see whether there is any side effect by observing those who have taken the shot.”
Not only this, the director-principal has asked the seniors in some departments to post messages in their local WhatsApp groups to encourage others for taking the shots.
“Seniors in the departments have a certain role to play as they interact with the employees on a daily basis. For example, if nursing superintendents and their assistants receive the jab, we ask them to post their experience in the WhatsApp groups to motivate their peers for the same. Also, phone numbers of the doctors concerned have been shared with the staff for addressing vaccine-related queries,” Dr Jasbinder Kaur said.
She added that although no serious side effects of the Covid vaccine are expected, arrangements have been made to detect and manage any symptoms arising within the observation period.
“As beneficiaries will receive the vaccine, naturally occurring health events will surface. Most of these events will not be related to the vaccine and are likely to be symptoms of commonly occurring morbidities only,” she added.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- According to a spokesperson of the department, with the aim of purchasing books for libraries, a high level committee of eminent writers was formed under the leadership of Dr Atamjit Singh. Based on the recommendations made by this committee, new guidelines have been issued to the schools.