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‘They Blame Us for the Shortage of Vaccines’

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Q: Are you involved in the COVID-19 vaccination process? What is your role?

Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM): I have been given the task of vaccinating the 45+ population. People are vaccinated after their Aadhar card information and mobile number are taken. We open a vaccine vial only when we have 10 people to vaccinate.

After the vaccination, we ask people to wait at the centre for 30 minutes to ensure that they don’t have severe side effects. I also inform them that they might get fever or body ache for a couple of days after getting the vaccine and they shouldn’t worry about it.

Q: What kind of challenges are you facing in vaccinating the 45+ population?

ANM: Earlier, the second dose of the Covishield vaccine was given after 28 days. But now, because of the shortage of vaccines, people are being asked to come after 3 months for the second dose. Sometimes people come to take the vaccine but they have to be turned away even after they have registered because we don’t have enough vaccines. They blame us for all this since we called them to take the vaccine. We have to take the blame and listen to their scolding.

Q: Have you received Personal Protective Equipments (mask, gloves, sanitiser) in the last four months from the government?

ANM: We have not received anything in the last four months. The government only expects us to work, and we are somehow managing to do that. Two days ago, one of the senior ANMs had a fight with the in-charge about this.

How will we work if we don’t have the required safety equipment? If there is a positive case in the area, how can we deal with it if we don’t have a thermometer, oximeter, gloves, mask, and sanitiser?

Q: Are other activities like routine immunisation and family planning counselling taking place?

ANM: Yes, all other activities are regular.

This interview was conducted with an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) in Nalanda, Bihar in Hindi on 20 May 2021, and has been translated.

Source: Business Today

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