Villagers Desert Homes Due To Vaccine Fear In Odisha’s Rayagada

Rayagada: The fear of vaccination has reportedly forced around 500 residents of a village in Rayagada district to desert their homes.

The incident was reported from Champakana in Kolanara block.

Confirming the news, Dr G Shailaja of Kolanara Community Health Centre said the villagers fled after seeing the health officials who had come to vaccinate them. Despite repeated assurances that vaccination is harmless and will protect them against COVID-19, the villagers refused to return to the village, she added.

The health officials, who came with 100 doses of the vaccine, waited at the village for hours before leaving it without vaccinating even a single person.

Kolanara Block Programme Officer Kalpana Mishra said she has discussed the importance of testing and vaccination with the villagers of Mukundpur, Kailashpur and Rekhapadar.

She hoped that the people will understand the gravity of the situation and said it is high time that they should get out of their misconception about vaccination.

However, this is not the first such incident reported in Rayagada district.

The DRDA Project Director and nodal officer for vaccination, Maheswar Nayak, said a few days ago, health officials went to Goudalelibadi village for swab testing. Tension erupted when two persons tested positive and villagers heckled the health officials, Nayak said.

“This development has worried the district administration. The next course of action will be taken after discussing the matter with the officials concerned,” he added.

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