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Opinion

The center plans an awareness campaign for those who doubt vaccines – health

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The Union government has asked states to raise awareness about coronavirus vaccines among people who may hesitate to receive doses, issuing an advisory for a comprehensive advocacy and social mobilization strategy that will aim to create stress on the need and benefits of inoculation.

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India is preparing the ground for a mass vaccination campaign that will be crucial for the country to emerge from the pandemic, but the task will need the widest possible adoption to create the herd immunity that can potentially eliminate the virus from circulation. “Given that the country is on the cusp of the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine, certain challenges are foreseen that must be countered in time. These may include the challenge of ensuring that more than 1.3 billion people in India receive timely and objective information and updates on the progress and benefits of the vaccine launch, anxiety, and public inquiries regarding the government’s decision. of prioritizing vaccine administration, apprehension about introduced vaccines after a brief trial surge. safety concerns and fear of adverse events, misconceptions about vaccine efficacy, negative rumors and narratives in the media / social media spaces, and observed laxity in public adherence to appropriate COVID behaviors, ”the guidelines said of vaccines from the ministry to the states.

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To address these potential challenges, the government is focused on raising awareness in four key areas: vaccine introduction, vaccine enthusiasm, vaccine hesitancy, and maintaining appropriate Covid-19 behaviors. “IEC material (information, education, communication) is being distributed among the target population to send the right message and dispel fear of vaccination. Volunteers are being adequately trained to go to the community to carry out awareness-raising campaigns among the target population, among other activities, ”said a senior government official, who asked not to be identified.

Earlier, the Union’s health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, had also said: “There is a section of people within the community who feel that they may not require the vaccine at all, that’s called vaccinated vacillation. It is the collective responsibility of central and state governments, vaccine manufacturers, etc. educate people. ”

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The main goals of the government’s Covid-19 communications strategy include providing quick, simple, and focused communication on vaccine availability, safety, and timelines; ensure understanding and acceptance of the phased and prioritized approach to overcome the concerns of the population awaiting vaccination; and build public confidence in the safety and efficacy of the new vaccine

Information on the Covid-19 vaccine and the vaccination process should also explain the implementation plan and facilitate maintaining transparency based on learnings from previous immunization campaigns.

Hindustan Times

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