Kashmir Indepth

Why are healthcare workers hesitant to take COVID-19 vaccine in Kashmir?

Faizan Ahmad 
Srinagar Jan 23 (KINS): Many healthcare workers in Kashmir’s hospitals are reluctant to take COVID-19 vaccine shots fearing they might develop complications.
Vaccination against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) began in Kashmir on January 16.
The first vaccine shot at SKIMS Soura was given to its director, Dr AG Ahangar as well as a sanitation worker.
Despite that many doctors and nurses are reluctant to take the vaccine, which has become a major concern here.
“We have received very poor response at SKIMS Soura where many employees have shown reluctance to take the vaccine. It has put the authorities in a tight spot to remove fears among doctors and other paramedics staff,” a senior official told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
“People who have to vaccinate the staff at SKIMS have to wait for hours or even to shut the vaccination site many a times because of poor response. If doctors and nurses are reluctant then how is it possible that general public will take vaccination,” the official added.
Doctors have warned that the unvaccinated staff in hospitals had the potential to transmit the disease to patients who are vulnerable to COVID-19 related complications.
A medical superintendent in one of the Srinagar hospital said they can’t force their staff to take vaccine shots. “This is being done voluntarily. Unlike Jammu, government has failed to convince the healthcare workers of the valley to go for vaccination. Administration is always more focusing on Jammu region in every aspect and ignore the valley,” the MS said.
The KINS spoke to many healthcare workers to know why they were reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
A doctor in one of the hospitals said he was ready to get the vaccine before the vaccination drive but was scared because of all the negative news of the vaccine coming in from different states. “This vaccine may have side effects on some people. After waiting for a little, I will get the vaccine when the overall vaccine results are good,” the doctor said.
A nurse at SMHS Hospital Srinagar said she had heard that those who have an infection should not get the vaccine done. “I want to get the vaccine, but I have a fear in my mind. The question I have is what will happen in the future after getting the vaccine, will there be a problem.”
There is also a demand from healthcare workers that if the government gives a written consent that the vaccine is 100 percent safe, it will boost the morale of the people and more and more people will get the vaccination done. “Those who run the administration should have taken COVID-19 vaccine first which would have boost morale of others,” a senior doctor at SKIMS Soura said.
Some believe what happens if a person is allergic to a particular drug or a constituent of the drug. They say government should issue a list in which those allergic to any drug should not get the vaccine. (KINS)

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