SHILLONG, March 07: Following the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, and even though the Government through the Health Department has initiated the mass Covid vaccination of the public, however as is evident now, thousands of health workers do not trust or refuse to take the vaccine and the majority of these are employees in Government hospitals.
The Minister in charge of the Health Department in Meghalaya, James P.K Sangma responding to a query in the Assembly has informed that as per the research conducted by the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Shillong it is found that there are 2,505 health workers who refuse to take the Covid-19 vaccination, from these, 2,456 are employed in Government hospitals while 49 are private hospitals employees.
Presenting the complete report during the Question Hour, AITC MLA in the Opposition, Himalaya Multan Shangpliang said that as per the findings of the IIPH, there are up to 93 unvaccinated doctors in Government hospitals, 462 nurses while 437 other health workers in Government hospitals have not taken the Covid-19 vaccine. Whereas in private hospitals there are 43 doctors, 144 nurses and 147 other health workers who are unvaccinated.
As per the statement of James Sangma, there are several reasons that have made health workers refuse the vaccination, and from the end the Government, it has tried to hold counselling sessions from time to time to make them understand the necessity of vaccination. He said that the reasons include the fear that it might affect them later on, several misinformation circulating on social media platforms, some feel that they are in good physical health and have good immunity already while some are scared of the needle, and so on and so forth.
Responding further to the query, James Sangma said that the counseling sessions have helped which led to about 70-80% of those who had initially refused to take the vaccine have complied and taken the vaccine now.