‘Relatives were Asking Me to Not Take the Vaccine’

Updated: May 11

Q: Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19?

ASHA: Yes. We were told by the Health department that all frontline workers need to get vaccinated. I was informed five days before my turn by the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM). She said that I had to reach the Block-level health centre and carry an ID card. On 8 February 2021, I went, and my information was filled online. I immediately received a text message on my phone.

After getting the vaccine, I had to sit at the centre for 30 minutes, in case I experienced a reaction. After that I was given a certificate and was asked to come after 28 days for the second dose.

Q: What information were you given prior to the vaccination? Did you have apprehensions?

ASHA: We were given some information about the vaccine by the department. My family members and relatives were asking me to not take the vaccine. I was also scared of how my body will react to the vaccine- if I will get fever or have weakness. I talked to my colleagues who were administered the vaccine before me, and they reassured me. Our ANM and Medical Officer (MO) took the vaccine, and so I also agreed.

Q: What cautionary measures were taken during the vaccination process?

ASHA: Masks and sanitisers were compulsory. There was an arrangement to buy food for people who had not eaten. We were asked to eat properly. An ambulance was also there.

Q: Were you told about whom you could go to in case you experienced any side effects?

ASHA: Yes, I was asked to call the ANM in case I had any problem. And if the ANM was not reachable, then I could call either the supervisor or the MO.

Q: Have you informed your local community regarding the COVID-19 vaccination? Are they asking questions?

ASHA: After my vaccination was done, a lot of my other colleagues and Anganwadi workers called me to ask about the vaccination process. People are also asking questions on when they will get the vaccine, if there were side effects, etc.

This interview was conducted with an ASHA worker in Osmanabad, Maharashtra in Hindi on 26 February 2021, and has been translated.

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