How a village in India reached 100% vaccination in the face of misinformation and hesitancy
The techniques used in the village of Janefal could now be a model for regions around the world that are struggling with low vaccination rates.
When health workers tried to convince Munir Pathan to take the COVID-19 vaccine in February, the 52-year-old farmer refused. The jab would kill him, he was certain. A resident of Janefal village in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, roughly a 228-mile drive from Mumbai, Pathan had read messages on WhatsApp, stating that vaccine shots are lethal and that if a doctor errs while administering the shot, it leads to an infection in the arm. The only way to save the person thereafter is by amputating the limb.
“My mother is 80 years old, while my father is a decade older. I was particularly scared to get them vaccinated,” Pathan says. “Also, there hasn’t been one COVID-19 case in our village since