Indian health workers defy the Himalayan winter and vaccinate the inhabitants of the most remote villages

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In a village of Himalayan in controlled by India part of Cashmere, the young health worker Masrat Farid she packed her bag of vaccines on an icy January morning as strong winds blew the snow into the air.

He is part of a group of health workers who undertake a door-to-door campaign in the area to provide vaccines to adolescents and support the elderly in remote mountain villages.

“We have to fight the infection. “We have to keep going,” he said Associated Press the Farid as she made her way through the snow to her knees at Gangager, a small village located among forests.

THE Farid and her colleagues have vaccinated thousands over the past year, mostly in villages they reach by long-distance hiking in the steep countryside.

But cold and snowy inhospitable soil is not the only obstacle.

Some residents are still hesitant about vaccines and gaining their trust is more difficult than coping with the winter Himalayan.

“Most young girls are hesitant, fueled by misinformation and mistrust,” she said. Farid during a recent vaccination route in a snowy mountain village. It referred to the misconception that the vaccine affects or even prevents pregnancy.

“We are not only vaccinating them against coronavirus, we must also train them on vaccines to gain their trust,” he said.

In a new phase that began this month, health workers are vaccinating teens ages 15 to 18 and giving booster vaccines to people over 60 with health problems.

The reason for the enhancers, which are Ινδοί Health officials call the vaccine a “preventive” vaccine, given to high-risk groups who were among the first to receive the vaccine last year, and whose immunity may be reduced.

THE Jaffar Ali |, a health official, said the top challenge so far this year was hard weather – unlike last year, when some of his colleagues were harassed by locals during the vaccination campaign, as many residents thought the vaccinations were causing disability. side effects or could even cause death.

So far, health workers have fully vaccinated more than 72% of eligible people in the region’s population of 14 million, according to official figures.

Health workers recently went to some villages cut off from nearby cities due to heavy snowfall and vaccinated residents there – including Khag, a forest village where the inhabitants are mainly tribal and live in houses made of mud, stone or wood.

THE Arsha Begum, an elderly blind woman, expressed her gratitude as a medical team visited her home and gave her a booster shot inside her home.

“It would not be possible for me to go to the hospital in these difficult times. “I am very grateful to them,” he said.

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