July 27, 2021

To reduce India’s vaccine hesitancy around Covid-19, Modi needs to “let doctors do the talking”

Uddipana Goswami, a 27-year-old Hyderabad-based corporate professional, is not quite holding her breath for a Covid-19 vaccine. “I trust our scientists and their work, but not politically driven statements,” said Goswami.

Goswami cited prime minister Narendra Modi’s address to opposition leaders at an all-party meeting in the first week of December where he said the vaccine would be available in India “within weeks.”

“Till the other day there was no vaccine, but suddenly after Britain, Mr Prime Minister announces that within weeks, a vaccine will come,” she said. “I am not a fool.”

Then, she pointed out “offensive statements” that the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in power at the Centre, had made over the last couple of months. She was referring to the party promising free vaccines if voted to power during the Bihar Assembly and Hyderabad civil polls campaigns. “It is a shame that a humanitarian crisis has been turned into a political agenda,” she said.

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