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Centre launches campaign to ramp up COVID vaccination among tribal; focuses on busting myths

Centre said that the COVID vaccination campaign focuses on busting several myths and misconceptions among tribals (Indranil Bhoumik/Mint)Premium
Centre said that the COVID vaccination campaign focuses on busting several myths and misconceptions among tribals (Indranil Bhoumik/Mint)

Centre's Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation along with UNICEF and WHO will be conducting COVID vaccination campaign. It has already been initiated in Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Mandla in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday.

To ramp up COVID-19 vaccination among tribal people, the Centre on Thursday launched a campaign focusing on dispelling myths, misconceptions and fear about jabs. The government has involved traditional leaders and local influencers to be a part of the campaign.

Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation under Ministry of Tribal Affairs along with UNICEF and WHO will be conducting the campaign. It has already been initiated in Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Mandla in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday.

Under the campaign, more than 50,000 villages in 309 districts will be covered. Officials said, the campaign aims at creating awareness on vaccination among around 50 lakh tribals and forest dwellers across states.

We won't wait for third wave: Arjun Munda

Noting that there are a lot of misconception regarding COVID-19 vaccination, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said they want to build a protective shield around our people before the third wave strikes.

"There are lot of myths and misconception regarding COVID-19 vaccination. This campaign focuses on removing these hindrances. This is the time we increase awareness about vaccination in view of a possible third wave," he said.

"We won't wait for third wave, but will built a protective shield around our people," Munda added.

Campaign focuses on busting myths and misconceptions

The officials said that the COVID vaccination campaign focuses on busting several myths and misconceptions.

"We need to send out the correct message that vaccination protects from severe diseases and death... Many people think vaccination reduces stamina which may have an affect on their livelihood or they will have to abstain from alcohol after taking the shot," an official said.

"Some people deny the existence of Covid and call it simple 'cold and cough'. Most villagers and daily wagers think they already have the immunity," he added.

Tribal people have more confidence in local faith healers and traditional leaders. So, these people will be involved to bust these myths, the official said.

As part of the outreach, TRIFED will create awareness using fertilisers outlet centres, haats and bazaars, milk collection points and Van Dhan Vikas Kendras, that add value to non-timber minor forest produce.

There will be special focus on high-resistant areas. Local roll models and champions in the community will be used as influencers to convince community members.

Tribal folk formats and songs, especially those used on the occasions of birth, marriage and death, will be tapped. Pre-recorded messages will be used in local dialects and languages.

(With inputs from agencies)


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