Covid-19: Why Maharashtra wants mandatory vaccination for “vaccine-hesitant” class?

Radheshyam Jadhav | Updated on: Jan 14, 2022
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A few farmers and prominent people believe vaccination is unnecessary as their immunity is strong. 

Notwithstanding the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, a group of sugarcane cutter workers from Beed migrated in Miraj taluka believes that vaccination is not necessary for them as their immunity is strong.

But these are not the only people who have a suspicion about vaccines. A famous preacher Indurikar Maharaj recently declared that he had not taken the vaccine and will not get vaccinated as he is strong enough to tackle the virus. Adding to the problems of the State government, some leaders in the opposition camp frequently make statements that deter people from getting vaccinated.

Making it mandatory

The rate of vaccination in Maharashtra has dropped. One of the reasons cited by the State government is “ people against vaccines”. “ We have asked the union government if vaccination could be made mandatory under the Disaster Management Act so that hesitant class which is unwilling to take vaccine could be vaccinated,” said Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday.

The vaccination rate in the State is dropping to 6.5 lakh daily, which was once 8-10 lakhs per day. According to the government data, 90 per cent of the eligible population in the State has taken the first dose, while 62 per cent have completed two doses.

Tope said that the union government could step in and make provisions to make vaccination mandatory. “ There is hesitancy in some people, and some people still have a misunderstanding about vaccines,” he said.

Roping in religious leaders

The State government’s efforts to rope in religious leaders, actors, and social activists to encourage people to get vaccinated are not working. According to government sources, the messages in social media and grapevines are dissuading people against taking vaccines. Many kinds of superstitious beliefs are being spread in the masses which State government finds difficult to counter.

The government has now concluded that if 100 per cent vaccination has to be achieved it should be made mandatory.

Published on January 14, 2022

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