With 25-30% healthcare workers reluctant to take the COVID vaccine in Telangana, the government is planning to establish a ‘counselling’ mechanism to address their fears, as some have registered for the same but did not take it, said Health Minister Eatala Rajender on Sunday.
“The spread of rumours, unscientific and unreliable news is responsible for such fears. People need more confidence and courage. I volunteered to take the vaccine to give confidence and dispel such fears,” he said and urged the medical fraternity to also chip in.
“It is also the duty of the medical fraternity to dispel those fears. It is they who can clear the air. They must use social media and mass media to spread awareness about the efficacy of the vaccine,” he asserted, while addressing a special virtual talk on COVID vaccine, organised by the Telangana State Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Trade (TSFCCT).
Mr. Rajender pointed out that even after so many years of penicillin use, which saved millions of lives, checks were done for any reaction before it was given even today.
“It has been in use since 1928 but we still keep reading here and there about common allergic reactions, including rashes, hives, itchy eyes, swollen lips, tongue, or face,” he said.
Corona vaccines behave differently in different countries and environments. However, like all vaccines, they have been rigorously tested for safety before being authorised for use. “It may not be a 100% efficient vaccine but definitely serves the purpose. If anyone has any doubts, they can consult their doctors before taking the vaccine,” he explained.
“The TS government is committed to make the vaccine available to everybody but the Central government is in ‘full control’ and the Union Health Minister has been requested to allot more doses, as the vaccine is being developed locally here in Hyderabad to be given out to more people,” he said.
“We are looking for permission from the Health Ministry. We have received eight lakh doses so far and the vaccine does not cost more than ₹200,” he said. TS had fared well on all fronts be it recovery or in curtailing deaths due to COVID and the efforts to contain the pandemic will be continued with the same vigour till normalcy is restored.
“From the perception of death if contracted by coronavirus, we have reached the stage that nothing will happen. But, this journey has been hard and tough. It was possible due everyone’s effort,” remarked Mr. Rajendra.
TSFCCT, a professional body of 11 lakh traders involved in 29 kinds of businesses, assured to play its role in creating confidence among people about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine to dispel any fears, said talk organiser Prakash Ammanabolu. Office bearers A. Prakash, C. Nand Kumar, M. Murali Krishna, and Venu Vinod also participated.