On Tuesday, the number of beneficiaries turning up to get inoculated continued to remain low in the national capital for the third day in a row(Reuters)
On Tuesday, the number of beneficiaries turning up to get inoculated continued to remain low in the national capital for the third day in a row(Reuters)

Counselling, selfie points, badges, nodal officers step in to counter vaccine myths

Ajeet Jain, the nodal officer at RGSS hospital, where only nine health care workers turned up for the jab on Tuesday, said, “We are planning to hold sessions where health care workers, who have already been vaccinated, will share their first-hand experiences with others."
By Fareeha Iftikhar, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 06:21 AM IST

One-on-one counselling sessions, selfie points at vaccination centres, badges declaring “I am safe, I am vaccinated” among beneficiaries and sharing first-hand experiences of people already vaccinated — nodal officers at vaccination centres in capital are prepared to go the distance to burst myths about Covid-19 jabs and improve coverage.

On Tuesday, the number of beneficiaries turning up to get inoculated continued to remain low in the national capital for the third day in a row, with only 4936 health care workers vaccinated at 81 centres.

The next round of the vaccination drive will now be held on Thursday and Saturday.

Dr Pragya Shukla, the nodal officer at Delhi State Cancer Institute, is scheduled to conduct a one-on-one session with health care workers on the “myths and reality of Covid -19 vaccine” on Wednesday. Only 21 health care workers had turned up at the Delhi State Cancer Institutecentre for the jabs on Tuesday. “We thought that it’s very important to conduct counselling sessions to burst the prevailing myths and to provide psychological support to health care workers scheduled to get the vaccine shot in the coming days. We had a meeting with the district administration on Tuesday, where we suggested several other initiatives that can be taken to increase the number of people turning up,” she said.

“We had suggested that the district administration install a selfie point at all the vaccination centres, just like voting centres. People who get the jab, can take their pictures and share them on social media. It will help develop confidence among others. We will start the installation process in the next few days at our centres,” she added.

Ajeet Jain, the nodal officer at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality (RGSS) hospital, where only nine health care workers turned up for the jab on Tuesday, said, “We are planning to hold sessions where health care workers, who have already been vaccinated, will share their first-hand experiences with others. We had also suggested the district administration to conduct such sessions across hospitals to counter the existing vaccine hesitancy.”

“We are also planning to distribute badges among beneficiaries with messages like “I am safe” or “I am vaccinated” so that they get noticed in public and feel proud about it,” he added.

The vaccination numbers remained low at other centres with only 28 health care workers taking the shot at GTB hospital.

Dr Sweta, the nodal officer at the hospital, said, “We have been conducting online sensitisation meetings regularly for the health care workers. We have also started sharing experience of beneficiaries on our WhatsApp groups so that other health care workers, who are registered, get motivated.”

Meanwhile, several health care workers on Tuesday said they felt as if a “human trial” was being conducted on them. “I am not against getting a shot, but I will wait for a while. I am already a Covid-19 survivor and I do not think the vaccine is of any use to me. We can’t be a part of this human trial, without any proper data available on its success rate,” said a doctor at Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital.

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