People apprehensive about effectiveness of vaccine: Doctors assure vaccine is effective, urge people to reject rumors

Srinagar, March 11: Doctors in Kashmir on Thursday discarded rumors about Covid-19 vaccination saying that the vaccine is effective and is the only way to stop the spread of the disease.They appealed to people not to fall prey to misinformation and encouraged to go for the vaccination at an earliest.Rising Kashmir spoke to people from many areas especially in rural areas where some people are still reluctant to go for vaccination owing to “misconceptions and misinformation.”Ahmad, a resident of Tangmarg said people still do not believe the vaccination, saying that at public places people continue to raise questions about the “efficacy” of the vaccine.“People still are apprehensive. Whether we should go or not? They still ask these kinds of questions. There is still a trust deficit among people,” he said.“There are lots of rumors across places. People still don’t believe the vaccine is effective. People including literate ones ask so many questions about the vaccine efficacy,” he said.Ahmad said even some women argue the vaccination may cause some problem, which he said is “untrue”.The pandemic was more than a “catastrophe”, a nightmare the spread of which has now slowed down and the world is limping back to normalcy after the invention of its antidote.“Unfortunately, there is a section in our society which raises illogical suspicions over the effectiveness of this vaccine. By spreading false rumors they prove themselves ignorant. Let us be mature and stop this,” said Zubair Ahmad from Srinagar.He said after struggling and toiling hard, this vaccine is a brain child of world’s top researchers and brilliant minds who formed it amid the pandemic.Dr Naveed Shah, Head Department of Chest Medicine, Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar said people should not fall prey to rumours rather encourage vaccination.“The vaccination is safe. Hundreds of people including health care workers have taken the vaccine. There has been no adverse complication so far in any case,” he said.“Though there would be some expected side effects like pain, fever and uneasiness. It is expected in any kind of vaccination,” Naveed said.He said people should come forward, clear myths and encourage others to go for the vaccination.“There is a misconception among those people suffering from comorbidities. They are also unsure if they should go for it or not! They should consult the concerned doctor and take advice about the same. Otherwise the vaccine is safe and effective,” he said.State Immunization Officer J&K, Dr Qazi Haroon said they are planning to use loudspeakers and involve community leaders, religious clerks to spread awareness.“I do not know anything about misinformation. People above 60 years of age and above 40 years with comorbidities are coming at vaccination sites in huge numbers,” he said.Haroon said they are going to send vehicles to villages and far flung areas with an aim to generate awareness and fight misinformation and misconceptions over the vaccination.He said there is a need for sanitization and social mobilization. “The vaccine is safe. We appeal people not to believe in misinformation rather they should encourage vaccination,” said Haroon.The phase-1 of the vaccination was started on 16 January for health care and frontline workers while for citizens above 60 and those above 45 with comorbidities, the vaccination started from 01 March.“We are happy that senior doctors and health care workers who were at forefront to treat Covid-19 patients have come forward voluntarily for vaccination,” he said.As per government figures, till date 76% health care workers and 74% frontline workers have been inoculating the vaccine across Jammu and Kashmir.Since March last year, J&K has reported 1969 deaths caused due to the novel virus while caseload has gone up to 12,73,63.

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