Mumbai, December 5: More than 25 Urdu-mediums schools in Buldhana district of Maharashtra refused to take Measles-Rubella (gover-rubella) vaccine due to alleged rumours of impotency and infertility. The shocking revelations arrived after relatives of students denied permission for the immunisation in writing.
Earlier, the state government kick-started the Measles-Rubella vaccination campaign on November 27, with an aim to eradicate the twin diseases. However, the campaign faced a backlash in certain pockets of Thane – especially in the Muslim-dominated areas – due to the myths about the vaccine prevail. FAKE NEWS ALERT! Measles-Rubella Vaccine Causes Impotency and Infertility in Muslims?
According to the residents of the vicinity, reports TOI, there are rumours that after taking the vaccine, children (between 9 months to 15 years) become the victims of impotence and infertility. Though the administration claims that they achieved 70 percent coverage in the first two days, the daily reports that only five percent of the children in Mumbra, Kausa and Rabodi took the vaccines.
As per the health officials, the six-week-long vaccination drive was initiated to protect the children from the deadly disease which can cause physical deformities. However, rumours disseminated through Whatsapp message say that the drug is being sent for the United States in India to control the Muslim population. It reads, “America has sent drugs to India to control the Muslim population. So beware.”
According to a report, published in The Wire, the rumours originated in the Malappuram area of Kerala from where it spread to the other parts of the country. A Scroll report also mentioned children reportedly dying of diphtheria in the Muslim-majority area since their parents didn’t get them vaccinated. MR Vaccine: What Are Measles and Rubella? Why Parents Should Vaccinate Children Against These Diseases.
Quashing the rumours, medical fraternity has actively tried to dispel myths that inoculation causes side effects such as infertility. Immediately after administering the vaccine, children may experience some side effects like fever, joint pain, skin rash nausea or dizziness. But they are all short term and wouldn’t cause any long-term damages like infertility and impotence, said doctors.
The doctors even claim that the MR vaccine is safe and is being used in 150 countries to inoculate children against measles and rubella. The vaccines given in India is prequalified by WHO and is routinely administered even in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.