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PM takes on Covid vaccine hesitancy head-on while urging people to take jabs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Baat wanted people to get over the vaccine hesitancy to keep themselves and their family safe

In today’s edition of Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister, reached out to those who are suffering from hesitancy to take the Covid-19 vaccination and urged them to do so. He cited his own example and also that of his nearly 100-year-old mother, to reiterate the efficacy as well as safety of the vaccine.

Talking to people of Dulariya village in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district who reported on vaccine hesitancy on the part of the inhabitants, PM said: "I want to tell villagers to get rid of vaccine fear. There are many villages in India that are 100% vaccinated.” In order to encourage them, he went on to tell them about the different villages in India that have got their entire population vaccinated like Wayan village in Kashmir and three other villages in Nagaland.

On being informed that people are avoiding vaccination due to rumours and messages being flashed around in the social media that the vaccines makes one sick and can also lead to death, the PM asked people not fall for these ill-based news. He assured them that Indian scientists and researchers had toiled 24 hours and produced the vaccines within a year and that we must trust their expertise rather than go by what others are saying.

“Rumour mongers will keep spreading rumours but we've to save lives, countrymen. Don't remain under the delusion that Covid-19 has got over, it is a kind of disease in which the virus keeps changing its form. We must have confidence in our scientists who developed vaccines," he remarked.

In order to lead by example, the PM told people, “I have been vaccinated with both doses. My mother is close to 100 years of age, she too has taken both doses!” He went on to say that even though one may get a fever, it is just temporary and there is no need to fear that. “The vaccines are safe and not getting the doses is unsafe not just for yourself, but your family and your village.”

Asking the villagers to spread awareness about Coronavirus jabs, the PM urged them to rope in women as they enjoy a higher trust factor than others.

The PM also took this opportunity to lavish praise on rural India. He singled out villages and their inhabitants for not only following Covid-related protocols like wearing masks, sanitising and maintaining social distancing, but also continued to work. “While taking all precautions, they ensured that supplies like milk and vegetables were dispatched to other regions, and continued to toil in the fields for that.”

Modi also discussed the role played by others in the countrywide campaign against the pandemic like bank staff, teachers, small traders, shopkeepers, shop employees, street vendors, security watchmen, postmen and post office employees, etc. He paid tribute to Guru Prasad Mohapatra, Secretary to the Government of India, who passed away due to Covid but had strenuous efforts to bridge the oxygen gap by increasing its production capacity and its transport to oxygen-deficit regions.

With the advent of monsoon, the Prime Minister reminded the people to make an effort to conserve this precious resource by possible means, whether by making ponds, or small dams, to ensure that it seeps in the ground. “I consider water conservation as a form of service to the country,” he observed.

With the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in July in Japan, the Prime Minister wished the participants on behalf of the country, and asked everyone to cheer for them. He said despite suffering severe hardships, many of the Indian athletes and players have come up in their field. “When talent, dedication, determination and sportsmanship come together, then only a champion is made,” he remarked. He also cautioned people not to pressurise the participants. “I want to advise you too, that we should not pressurize these players knowingly or unknowingly, but support them with an open mind and bolster the enthusiasm of every player.”