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Parents in TN reluctant to inoculate children wary of side effects

- January 8, 2022

Chennai, Jan 8 (BPNS)

While more than sixty percent of the eligible children have in the age group of 15-18 have taken a vaccination in Tamil Nadu according to the department of health services,  some parents are wary of inoculating their children fearing side effects.

Revathy of Bodiniakanar in Theni district while speaking to BPNS said, “ I have not given a vaccination to my 16-year-old daughter as I am afraid of any side effects. Doctors have promised me that there won’t be any problems or side effects, I am afraid, and have not given a vaccination to her.”

This is a classic example of the vaccine hesitancy prevailing in several rural hamlets of Tamil Nadu even as the state health department had carried out several awareness programmes to educate people on the positive side of vaccination.

Many parents when contacted in the Southern districts of Tamil Nadu in Kanniyakumari, Nagercoil, Kuzhithura, and Thakala areas are hesitant to give a jab to their children.

Ramamoorthy,a farmer at a village in Nagercoil while speaking to IANS said,” Myself, my brother, our wives had all taken vaccination and there were not many side effects. However, we have not given a vaccination to our children who are in the age group of 15-18. I fear that some ill effects will come to children on vaccinating. We have two children and my brother has one and all are precious babies and how can we let them be exposed to such vaccines.”

The farmer said that the doctors and school teachers had talked to him several times and convinced him that there won’t be any side effects but still he is hesitant to give vaccination to children.

Parents however said that if the government makes vaccination mandatory for writing the board examination and final year school examinations, then they will allow their children to be vaccinated.

Saraswathi from Tiruchy while speaking to BPNS said, “ I have not vaccinated nor has my husband and how can I allow my son and my daughter to be vaccinated. The government has to bring in more inputs that make us convinced, then we will try to inoculate our children.”

Deputy Director of Tamil Nadu health services, Dr.Subramani however said that more than 60 percent of eligible teenagers are vaccinated in the state.

While speaking to BPNS, he said,” The response to vaccination is good and you can check with government school teachers and headmasters and headmistresses. However, some people have their apprehensions and we have doctors in every school who will clear their doubts. I think everyone will understand the importance of vaccination to prevent the disease and hence will vaccinate their children.”

The school authorities are also of the opinion that maximum children are being vaccinated except for a minimal percentage.

Sulajakumari .R. Principal of a Government School in Kancheepuram while speaking to BPNS said, “ We have almost vaccinated 90 percent of our eligible children. Of course, some parents have shown apprehensions and the doctor who is present in the school is convincing these parents. Hope they will soon fall in place and vaccinate their children.”