India vaccine rates sluggish as omicron spreads
Hesitancy and a sense of complacency are hindering India’s vaccination campaign, despite a rise in the number of omicron coronavirus infections. (Dec. 28)
An man in India says he has received up to 12 coronavirus vaccine doses and believes the shots have helped with his backaches and other health issues, according to multiple reports.
Brahmdeo Mandal, a retired postman from the Indian state of Bihar, says he received nine of the shots he registered for using a national identity card. To receive additional jabs, he used identification such as his wife’s phone number and a voting card.
Mandal told The New York Times he is 85 years old and received his first COVID-19 vaccine last February.
“I felt that it was helping my general health,” he told the newspaper. “My backache has improved, my general weakness improved, and my appetite improved.”
“I was always looking for new vaccine camps and would go there,” he added. “Nobody would recognize me.”
There is no evidence that additional COVID-19 vaccines provide benefits for health conditions unrelated to protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Mandal also noted that he hasn’t been convinced that he should stop receiving COVID-19 vaccines, telling the Times “I still want more.”
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Dr. Amarendra Narayan Shahi, the chief medical officer in the Madhepura district in Bihar, told the Times that he has spoken to the man about his vaccine doses. Shahi said internet problems have delayed uploading vaccination information in Madhepura.
The health official has launched a team to investigate Mandal’s claim, and other area authorities are also investigating.
Officials have confirmed Mandal received eight vaccines from four sites. In one instance, Mandal received two shots within 30 minutes, the BBC reported.
Approximately 45% of India’s population is fully vaccinated, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.