Health workers brave heavy rain to vaccinate tribal people near Valparai

More than 200 residents from eight tribal settlements near Valparai had their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday as the health workers reached out to them braving heavy rain and slippery paths through jungles.

The drives were held after educating the residents about the vaccination programme in the last several days.

Deputy Director Health Services S. Senthil Kumar said the Health Department was taking various measures to counter the vaccine hesitancy among the residents after which they voluntarily turned to receive their first dose.

The Health Department teams led by Valparai Block Medical Officer Babu Lakshman conducted camps at Keelpoonachi and Vellimudi tribal settlements in the morning after which they visited Kadamparai.

A separate camp was conducted at Nedungundram settlement. People from Sankarankudi, Udumanparai and Paramankadavu came to Nallamudi as those settlements were difficult to access where another camp was conducted.

“Forest Department staff from Valparai and Manombolly ranges of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) coordinated with us for the drive,” said Dr. Lakshman.

Dr. Senthil Kumar said that more vaccination camps will be planned in coming days to cover residents of other tribal settlements in the region.

Following reports of tribal settlements witnessing COVID-19 infections, authorities of the ATR recently introduced various restrictions for outsiders to visit tribal settlements.

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