At your doorstep: Teams to dispel vaccine myths, encourage people in Delhi to get the shot

AAP MLA Atishi visited Navjeevan camp in Kalkaji, which was rife with rumours about the vaccine and apprehensions over whether it has side effects.

Kickstarting the ‘Jahaan Vote, Wahaan Vaccination’ campaign across the capital on Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party MLAs and teams went door-to-door asking people whether they had got the Covid vaccinated. If not, they requested them to get vaccinated for free at the same school where they generally cast their vote.

People were given flyers with details of the campaign, meant to vaccinate all Delhiites above 45 over the next four weeks. Linking the drive to respective polling booths is meant to fast-track the process.

AAP MLA Atishi visited Navjeevan camp in Kalkaji, which was rife with rumours about the vaccine and apprehensions over whether it has side effects.

To dispel misinformation, Atishi gave people the example of her parents: “They are elderly and have many problems like hypertension, diabetes. But they got vaccinated and are absolutely fine.”

Speaking to women at the camp, Atishi told them they can go to the school where they cast their vote from tomorrow itself. One of the women said she wanted to get her sugar levels checked before getting vaccinated. She was referred to the nearest mohalla clinic.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Atishi said, “There are 44 booths in this ward (number 91) and 44 teams of officers are going door-to-door at this moment. A few people, over 45, are still hesitant about getting vaccinated. This is precisely why we decided to do this. Some people don’t know where the centres are, but everyone knows where they go to vote, so that will not be a problem.”

The booth level officer from the area had a list of voters and their details. The team, comprising the booth officer, a civil defence volunteer and a party worker, informed people about the campaign, cleared any doubts and took down their details.

Among the families Atishi and the team visited was 42-year-old Naseem’s. One out of five people in the family have been vaccinated so far. Naseem, a mother of three, said she was unsure of getting vaccinated since a neighbour had told her that she got skin discoloration after getting the shot. “Plus we heard that vaccines are over so we did not bother. If it is available so easily, we will surely get it,” she said.

A 62-year-old shopkeeper said the team had taken down his details and that he would get vaccinated in the coming days. However, he had apprehensions too. “A neighbour got one dose easily but has been running around trying to get the second,” he said.

Machla (45), a domestic help, was more concerned about her job. “After a lot of difficulties, my employers are calling me back to work. I will get vaccinated but since I have just started work again, I do not want to take a day off so soon,” she said.

As the team left, locals discussed whether they should get the shot. By the end of the day, most people had decided that they would get it now that they had an opportunity. “Agar bachna hai toh lagwana hi padhega,” said one resident.

Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, MLAs Dilip Pandey and Sanjeev Jha also started the campaign in their respective constituencies.

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