A Punjab village with ‘100% vaccination’: How a reluctant attitude turned into acceptance
ON JUNE 12, Ludhiana district’s Bhikhi Khatra became the first village in Punjab to attain the status of “100 per cent vaccination”, but it was not an easy task to counter.
The villagers needed much convincing to take the Covid-19 vaccine, which required multiple visits by health officials to their houses. The panchayat is also announced to get a Rs 10 lakh grant by Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
Health department official Dr Sukhwinder Singh said 50 per cent of the villagers had to be requested repeatedly to get innoculated. The village has a population of 1,700, out of which 947 were adults and the left ones are minors. “A total 905 have been vaccinated, 18 were pregnant females who could not be vaccinated as there are no guidelines for pregnant ladies while the rest 24 were medically unfit for vaccination i.e their chemotherapy was going on or a few were having some other serious ailments and hence doctors did not give consent for the vaccination. Hence, under these conditions, 905 needed to be vaccinated fully and hence the 100 per cent target had been achieved,” he added.
Out of the 905 villagers, 166 have got both doses while the rest have taken only the first shot till now.
Mandeep Singh, one of the panches of the village panchayat, told that,“In March, no one from the village cameforward to get themselves vaccinated, but in April, a few of them went for their first jab. There are four villagers aged above 90 years and when they got their first jab in May, a number of youngsters felt motivated and they also got vaccinated. This is how we achieved our 100 per cent target of vaccination.
“Harpal Kaur (97), Bhagoo Devi (93), Mahinder Kaur (92) and Gurmail Singh (91) have got their first doses of vaccine. They were cited as an example to youngsters, due to which they felt encouraged and motivated and came forward for the jab. Out of 905 villagers, nearly 500 got themselves vaccinated without much hassle but for the remaining 405, our health teams had to make repeated visits to their houses,” said Dr Sukhwinder.
CHO Jaswinder Kaur said, “It was not an easy task to handle. We daily read the news on how vaccines are reaching the remotest villages of India and how health teams are convincing residents for vaccination. I am happy that we also got inspired from such stories and hence became part of their stories.”
Asked what they will be doing with the Rs 10 lakh grant given to them , panchayat member Mandeep Singh said, “We will be using it to improve the structure of the village building and its approaching road. We hope that the grant will be received by the village as soon as possible.”