MADIKERI: Many tribals at the Diddalli rehabilitation site at Bydagotta near Kushalnagar locked their doors and fled before the special COVID-19 vaccination drive by the health department on Thursday. Only 35 residents out of over 200 were inoculated. The taluk health officer, however, assured that the department will keep trying to get everyone vaccinated at the settlement.
The tribals at the Bydagotta settlement have been in the limelight for the wrong reasons since the breakout of the second wave. They did not agree to give swab tests for COVID-19 as they claimed their tribal lord would save them from the pandemic. Following this, the health department alongside support from various other departments conducted several awareness campaigns at the settlement.
Further, the department decided to conduct a vaccination drive for the tribals on Thursday after organizing the first camp at Bydagotta Community Hall. However, most of the tribals at the settlement did not turn up for the inoculation. Further, the officials were welcomed by locked doors when they tried visiting houses to convince the tribals to attend the vaccination drive. Only a total of 35 residents from the settlement were vaccinated with the first dose.
“Officials from all the departments have visited the settlement to convince the tribals. But they are not ready to take the vaccination. On Thursday, the tribal leader Swami was among the 30-odd residents who took the inoculation. The leader is fine now and we have asked him to try and convince others to take the vaccination. We will keep trying to motivate the tribals to take the vaccine,” shared Dr Srinivas, Somwarpet taluk health officer. He added that the department is inoculating the villagers residing near the tribal settlement to erase all their misbeliefs regarding the vaccines.