Kerala nurse attacked during MR vaccination drive, medical bodies to observe 'black day' in protest
Indian Medical Association said in a statement that they would observe a 'black day' throughout Kerala on Saturday in light of the incident
Thiruvananthapuram: A junior health nurse was attacked at a primary school in Malappuram district by some persons during the state government's ongoing Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination drive, police said.
They said three persons were arrested on Friday in connection with the attack and a case registered against them for non-bailable offences.
The nurse was attacked at the school in Edayoor panchayat on Thursday by some persons when she was administering the MR vaccine to children.
The Kerala government had last month extended the campaign deadline as it did not receive the expected results in some districts due to an anti-vaccination campaign.
Taking a serious view of the incident, Kerala Health minister KK Shailaja on Friday said all the accused would be arrested as early as possible.
The DGP had been directed to take stern against those responsible for the incident, she said in a Facebook post.
She said there have been instances in the past by a group of people, in a well-planned manner, to cause hurdles to the government's vaccination drive. They launch fake campaigns in the social media and corner meetings, she said.
However, health department officials have overcome such attempts and the result is that the state has succeeded in keeping serious diseases from its doorsteps, she said.
Protesting against attacks on doctors and nurses at various places, Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) boycotted attending outpatients in government hospitals throughout the state from 9 am-10 am this morning.
Attacks on members of the medical fraternity have been reported from Kozhikode, Kasaragod, Thalassery and Thrissur, and such incidents should be viewed seriously, the KGMOA said.
Indian Medical Association state President Dr EK Ummer and secretary, Dr Sulfi said in a statement that IMA would observe a 'black day' throughout the state on Saturday.
If stern measures are not taken against those behind such incidents, IMA would be forced to other modes of agitation, he said.
Guleria said that there are a few vaccine candidates available that have been deemed safe for children. These include Pfizer, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Zydus Cadilla's ZyCoV-D shots.
In a decision on Friday, the EU drug regulator said research in more than 3,700 children aged 12 to 17 showed that the Moderna vaccine already given the OK for adults across Europe produced a comparable antibody response.
Experts have called for a speedy inoculation programme that they say is India's best bet against the pandemic, especially at a time when fears of a possible third wave are looming.