Government of India has been supporting the efforts of States and UTs for an effective Vaccination drive under the ‘Whole of Government’ approach since 16thJanuary, this year.
There have been certain Media reports alleging ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ in rural areas by Health workers.
It is informed that Vaccine Hesitancy is a globally accepted phenomenon and should be addressed by scientifically studying and addressing the issue at the community level. Keeping this in mind, a ‘COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategy’ covering details on Vaccine Hesitancy was shared with all the States/ UTs at the beginning of the COVID-19 Vaccination Drive. This strategywas also shared with the Mission Directors of National Health Missions of all States on 25thJanuary 2021 as a part of the Orientation of State Immunization and IEC Officers from all States/UTs on COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Strategy. All States/ UTs are following the same and adopting the strategy as per the local requirement. Several IEC materials and prototypes for all media – print, social& electronic media have been prepared and shared with states for suitable adaptation at the state level.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is working closely with all the States/ UTs in addressing the issue of Vaccine Hesitancy on a regular basis. Further, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has communicated to all States/UTs to create awareness generation in Tribal communities through IEC material on COVID-19 vaccines and COVID Appropriate Behavior (CAB). The Ministry is also working in close coordination with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India in this regard.