Kerala

Sizable section of tribals vaccinated in Pathanamathitta

Notwithstanding the challenges involved in terms of logistics and vaccine hesitancy, COVID-19 vaccination drive across the tribal belts of Pathanamathitta appears to have made a huge progress with a sizable part of their population being covered with the first dose.

According to officials, 2,600 out of the total 4,426 eligible members across the various tribal communities in the district have received their first dose of the vaccine.

The administration of vaccines is being carried out through a series of special camps, organised by the Health Department in association with the Tribal Development Office, Pathanamathitta.

These camps, officials said, were being organised by taking the medical teams into the forest settlements with the help of the forest Department while the tribal promoters had been entrusted with the task of spreading the message .The second wave of the pandemic had a drastic impact among these communities with 460 people testing positive for the virus during the period.

“Barring the nomadic group of Malampandarams in the Sabarimala forests, vaccine coverage has been satisfactory elsewhere including Kurumbanmozhi, a forest-fringe settlement that was earlier declared as a containment zone. Reaching out to the community, who remain deep inside the forests and change their place of stay on a regular basis, however, has been a tough task,” said S.S.Sudheer, Tribal development Officer, Pathanamathitta.

As per estimates, about 395 people in 95 families that belong to the Malampandaram tribe are living in the forests of Pathanamathitta.

Health Department sources said the resistance caused by misconceptions had made things difficult for them to penetrate into the tribal settlements in the initial stages.

“Most of them have shed their hesitancy through sustained campaigning but it still persists among a section, especially those aged above 60,” observed an official.

Meanwhile, about 1.88 lakh people aged above 18 in Pathanamathitta have completed their vaccination with two doses while 54% have received the first vaccine. For people aged above 45, only 26% have received two doses while about 77% have received their first dose.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 8:20:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sizable-section-of-tribals-vaccinated-in-pathanamathitta/article35013332.ece

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