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One-To-One Communication Key To Reduce Vaccine Hesitancy

People are afraid of the side effects. They fear that they may experience something unusual, which is natural for anyone

On the day of the launch of the massive immunization drive against Covid-19 that the country has embarked upon, Dr. B.L. Sherwal, Director at Delhi government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH), said that better communication could have reduced the hesitancy towards the vaccine among the people.

While agreeing that there was a lack of effective communication, he stressed that one-to-one communication is required to allay the hesitancy towards vaccines. “Rather than mass communication, we need to be communicating one-to-one with the people. Since we are not doing that, we are failing in developing the confidence of the people,” Dr. Sherwal said.

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He gave the example of his hospital where his staff counseled the first 100 beneficiaries to get the job. “Out of them, 85 agreed and we are confident that once they would receive the vaccine, others will be encouraged and join them in the inoculation drive,” he said. Dr. Sherwal also said that it is human to have hesitancy towards something which has never been used before. “People are afraid of the side effects. They fear that they may experience something unusual, which is natural for anyone.”

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He also said that the apprehension towards the vaccine sustains since the long-term efficacy is not known. However, Dr. Sherwal assured that the scientists and researchers have made sure the vaccines are safe for administration. RGSSH is one of the 81 sites for the launch day of the immunization drive in Delhi. Nationally, it is being conducted at around 3,000 centers. RGSSH will administer the Serum Institute of India’s vaccine ‘Covishield’ to its healthcare staff first. (IANS)

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