Kabulis less interested in Covid-19 vaccination

KABUL (Afghanistan):  As per Pajhwok Afghan News, the government has made available Covid-19 vaccination in all residential areas and mosques, but people are less interested in receiving the doses.

This comes as the Covid-19 vaccine is about to expire and the Ministry of Public Health is asking people to get the shots.

Mobile vaccination teams accelerate the process

Pajhwok Afghan News visited a number of vaccination teams in mosques but the teams complained about low interest among people for getting the vaccine.

Zarmina, a vaccinator who was administering Covid-19 vaccine in Jabir Mosque in KhairKhana area of Kabul, said, “We come to this mosque since last three days, but we vaccinated less than 70 people during the period, the population is high and we thought that we would not be able to manage the process, but very little people come here.”

She said that mobile vaccination teams were on job from 9 am to 3 pm every day.

NijatAyar, another vaccinator in SafidKhwajaMosuqe, in the 15th police district of Kabul city also complained about fewer people interested in taking the doses.

She said that in the past three days, around 100 people, including men and women, visited the mosque for vaccination.

“When the Covid-19 vaccine arrived for the first time, there were so many people in the vaccination centres, so many people were getting the vaccine and we had no time to eat, but now all of us are waiting for people from morning to afternoon,” she said.

She called on citizens to get the vaccine and protect themselves and their families against deadly diseases.

Abdul WasaySaeed, imam of Idris Mosque in KululaPushtaarea of Kabul, told Pajhwok that mobile vaccination teams twice visited the mosque and called on people to get the doses in the last one month.

He said that a number of men and women had received the vaccine, but considering the population of the region, many of them ignored it due to various reasons.

There is no problem in getting the vaccine from an Islamic point of view and there are no legal issues as well, so people should get vaccinated for the safety of their lives and their families, he said.

Covid-19 era ended no need for vaccination: People

Pajhwok talked with a number of people about the reason why they refuse to get vaccinated.

MatiullahAzimi, head of Chahardehi Center in Kabul, says that a week ago, a team of vaccinators came to the local mosque, but very few people appeared to get the vaccine despite repeated calls from the teams on people.

Azimi, who also is unvaccinated, said, “Corona has finished, it was a project and gone, why we should get into trouble by taking the vaccine, those who got it are struggling with fever and body pain.”

Ahmad Wali, a Kabul resident who owns a booth shop, told Pajhwok that he had not received the vaccine yet. “Death comes from God. If there is the order of death for someone, the corona vaccine will not be able to prevent it, and that is why I did not and will not get the vaccine,” he said.

Zakirullah, another shopkeeper in the Kampani area of Kabul city, said, “I did not receive the vaccine because corona can do nothing if God does not want it.”

He said that vaccination teams visited their area, but many people including him did not get the vaccination.

Coronavirus was a project of the US and the previous regime and all people saw that the virus was gone with their withdrawal, he said.

KarimaNoori, a resident of the KhairKhana area, said, “They are mad, where is the corona, there is nothing like corona, not even a single member of our family is infected with it, we do not believe in it.” She termed Covid-19 a project and said false figures were published for attraction of aid.

However, AsmaAzizi, a resident of the Qasba area of Kabul city, praised mobile teams of vaccinators and said that she and all her family members had received the vaccine in a nearby mosque. She said that there were separate vaccination teams in mosques both for men and women.

Medical experts encourage people to get Covid-19 shots

Dr. Abdul SaboorBasirat, an internal medicine doctor and a respiratory specialist at Amiri Complex Hospital called the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine helpful for prevention of the virus spread and asked people with ages above 18 to get the vaccine. He said that people between the ages of 12 and 18 should also be vaccinated.

He reported a significant decrease in Covid-19 patients at the hospital, saying that up to 50 coronavirus patients would visit to the hospital on a daily basis, but currently, only three patients visited the hospital a day. Basirat said that currently only one man was hospitalized.

He said that their statistics show 75 percent of coronavirus patients had recovered from the disease in their hospital.

He said that taking the Covid-19 vaccine, using masks and observing social distance was helpful to prevent the spread of the disease, and urged people to follow health guidelines to protect themselves, their families and those around them.

He said that the Ministry of Public Health should increase public awareness about coronavirus disease through awareness programs.

Mohammad HashemWahaj, head of Wahaj Hospital in Kabul, also termed coronavirus vaccine effective in preventing further spread of the virus but he said that the number of patients had significantly dropped.

He added that in the past, 30 to 50 people would visit the hospital for testing for coronavirus a day, but now only four people visited it.

The covid-19 vaccine is only administered by vaccination teams at government health centres, he said, adding that employees of private hospitals were also vaccinated by these teams.

Pajhwok tried to contact officials of the Ministry of Public Health for their comment about the issue, but they declined to comment.

Four months ago, the Ministry of Public Health said Afghanistan needed 42 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, of which 500,000 doses of Indian vaccine, 468,000 doses of COVAX and 700,000 of China vaccine had been so far assisted.

The United States also promised to provide three million doses of the Johnson vaccine to the Afghan people after the spread of the Delta variant of the virus in Afghanistan. The US later provided 1.5 million doses of the vaccine on July 9.

At the time, Afghanistan, with an estimated population of 37 million, received more than a million vaccines five months ago.

According to official figures from the Ministry of Public Health, more than 156,000 people are infected by coronavirus disease and 7,280 others have died since the outbreak of the pandemic in Afghanistan.

About The Author

Chetan Sharma is an Indian fact-checker and news writer, writing news for Ayupp since 2014.

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