5 Doctors scale rockslides, invoke gods to vaccinate Himalayan villages

MALANA: A Covid-19 vaccination team scrambled over a landslide while visiting the Indian village of Malana deep in the Himalayas. A landslide that blocked the road and scaled a retaining wall, began a three-hour trek down and up a river valley.

Despite the hostile terrain, the northern state of Himachal Pradesh became the first in India this month, to administer at least one COVID -19 vaccine dose in all it’s adults. On 14th September, a team of five doctors led by district officer Dr. Atul Gupta set out to Malana to administer second vaccine doses. When the team reached the village on 14th September, around three dozen people got ready to get their second dose just opposite an ancient temple to the delty.

According to the village head Rajuram “People were initially scared to take the vaccine, worried they would fall sick or die” and “Then I took it and others also mustered the courage”. Dr.Gupta said that his team attempted to convince Malana’s 1,100 adults to take their first shots.

Himachal Pradesh’s Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur pins the state’s vaccination to be successful and decides to involve local level politicians and the federal government’s push to prioritise immunisations in tourist hotspots.

Mr.Thakur wants Himachal Pradesh to be the fastest state to reach the two-dose milestone, by November. Therefore, India wants to vaccinate nearly all of it’s adults by December.

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