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Centre launches campaign to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination among tribals | India News


NEW DELHI: The Center on Thursday launched a campaign to increase Covid-19 vaccination among tribal peoples with a focus on dispelling myths, misconceptions and fear about vaccines by engaging traditional leaders and local influencers.
The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation (TRIFED), under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, will implement the campaign, which started from Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Mandla in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday, in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO).
According to officials, the campaign aims to raise awareness about vaccination among around 50 lakh tribal and forest dwellers in every state.
The campaign will cover more than 50,000 villages in 309 districts.
Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda He said the campaign presents an opportunity to build a strong relationship with registered tribes.
“There are many myths and misconceptions regarding Covid-19 vaccination. This campaign is focused on removing these obstacles. This is the time when we raise awareness about vaccination in light of a possible third wave,” he said.
“We won’t salute for the third wave, but we will build a protective shield around our people,” added Munda.
The campaign focuses on dismantling myths and misconceptions, such as that the vaccine is not intended for children and women and that a vaccinated person cannot be reinfected.
“We need to send the right message that vaccination protects against serious illness and death … Many people think that vaccination reduces resistance, which can affect their livelihood or they will have to abstain from alcohol after receiving the injection,” said an official. saying.
“Some people deny the existence of Covid and call it simply ‘cold and cough.’ Most of the villagers and those who make daily bets think they already have immunity,” he added.
Tribal people have more confidence in local healers and traditional leaders. So these people will be involved in breaking these myths, the official said.
As part of the outreach, TRIFED will raise awareness using fertilizer sales centers, haats and bazaars, milk collection points and Van Dhan Vikas Kendras, which add value to minor non-timber forest products.
Particular emphasis will be placed on high resistance areas. Local role models and community champions will be used as influencers to convince community members.
Tribal folk songs and formats will be exploited, especially those used on the occasions of birth, marriage and death. Prerecorded messages will be used in local dialects and languages.

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