A doubter decides to be vaccinated
When a deadly second wave of COVID-19 struck India in May 2021, the surge overwhelmed health services across the country. Hospitals and health centres were running out of beds, essential drugs and oxygen as people were left fighting for their lives.
To compound the problem, many people, like 53-year-old Amrit, were hesitant to become vaccinated.
Amrit believed in several misconceptions concerning COVID-19, such as: COVID-19 is not a disease, but a curse of God; COVID-19 vaccines lead to death; and vaccines provided to government personnel are safe while those provided to the general population are not.
The Humanitarian Coalition, through its member Save the Children, organized outreach camps in remote villages, including Hadmatiya – Amrit’s village, to support vaccination campaigns in areas with low vaccination rates.
Save the Children worked with respected community members to encourage people like Amrit to become vaccinated. A ward member – an elected representative in local government -- shared with the participants how he had been vaccinated without any side effects. He also assured the audience that not a single person had died from the vaccine, although more than 500 people in the area were already vaccinated.
Then a school teacher, who is also a member of the community came forward to get the vaccine. Seeing the teacher get the same vaccine as he was being offered, Amrit understood that there were not two different vaccines for government employees and the general public. Based on this, Amrit was ready to take the vaccine.
A few days later, when the Save the Children team met Amrit, he said that he was satisfied with the vaccine and that he would encourage his entire family to get vaccinated.