While the government statistics show that around 42% of Goans have already given the first dose of Covid Vaccine, half of the people in the age group of 60 and above have not yet opted for the vaccination. This indeed creates a scary situation besides affecting the tourism industry in Goa which is waiting to resume once Goa gets fully vaccinated.
It has been observed that older people are still staying behind when it comes to vaccination due to lots of misinformation spread on the net and false WhatsApp forwards which talk negatively about the vaccination.
According to the reports, there is still a poor response from the older age group that is still reluctant to take the vaccine while the response from the 18-44 age group has been overwhelming and that vaccination is taking place at a rapid pace.
Meanwhile, the petition filed in the high court for the door-to-door vaccination to which the state government has opposed saying that it is not feasible due to various reasons including the monitoring time for each person post-vaccination is half an hour and secondly, it goes against the SOP.
“Door-to-door vaccination is presently not provided for in the SOPs of the ministry of health and family welfare, considering the risk of AEFIs and vaccine wastage. However, the government is considering reaching out to this above-mentioned population by prior registration of beneficiaries,” the state government submitted to the high court.
According to the state government, there are nearly 40 permanent centers and 195 satellite centers across the state that provides vaccination. “The response to the vaccination drive is good and on an average, over 17,000 persons have been vaccinated since the last three days of the Tika Utsav,” the state government told the high court.
The report further states that a large number of people in the age group of 60 and above are still avoiding the vaccination due to misinformation spread on the various social media platforms. “A large number of senior citizens are still evading vaccination, either because they believe misinformation or have some misconceptions,” said a senior government doctor. “Even after seeing the most lethal side of the pandemic last month, many of them still don’t want to get vaccinated.”
The health officers feel that there is a need of reading of the awareness amongst the cities so that they come forward to get the vaccine jab “However, not enough is being done on this front. The first few days of Tika Utsav or vaccination drive receive a good response, but after that, everything slows down,” he said.
According to the health officer Mr. Borcar, the hesitancy is more amongst the rural population compared to urban areas. “We are receiving good response from senior citizens in urban areas,” Borkar said.
Asked what will be done to convince senior citizens who have refrained so far from getting vaccinated, he said perhaps they would have to go door-to-door. However, it would be of much help if elected representatives take a lead and find out the names of people in their respective areas who are yet to get vaccinated and persuade them to get inoculated.