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‘Social Media and Television Played a Role in Busting Myths About the Vaccine’

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Q: Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19? Have you been provided with gloves, masks and sanitisers in the last four months by the government?

ASHA: Yes, we have received both the doses; we are completely vaccinated. We were provided with masks, gloves, and sanitisers but not in enough quantity. We have to physically go to villages and hence these resources don’t last very long.

Q: What steps are being taken in case there is a critical COVID-19 patient in the village?

ASHA: Critical COVID-19 patients don’t stay in the village for treatment. When a person tests positive, they are first sent to the designated COVID-19 care centre in the village. If their condition does not improve or if they need oxygen facility or ventilator support, they are sent to the Block hospital for further treatment.

Q: What steps are being taken in your work area for COVID-19 prevention?

ASHA: Our Panchayat followed the lockdown protocol really well. The people who arrived in the village from outside were quarantined in a local school. We monitored their health and also provided them with masks.

Recovering patients were asked to remain isolated for seven more days in a separate room or in the school or a farm before meeting their families.

Q: What kind of challenges are you facing in the second wave of COVID-19?

ASHA: Earlier, the impact of COVID-19 was seen more in the cities, but in the second wave it also reached the villages. People in my village had become careless. They had stopped wearing masks. We had to ask people to start following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour again.

People were also apprehensive and were not ready to take the vaccine. On the one hand we were instructed by the officials higher up to get everyone vaccinated, and on the other hand people did not want to get vaccinated despite us going door-to-door to convince them.

However, eventually, their perspective changed when the Anganwadi worker, teacher and I took the vaccine. Social media and television also played a role in busting myths about the vaccine.

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

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