5,000 teachers refuse COVID vaccines citing religious beliefs in Muslim-dominated northern Kerala districts of Kasargod in Malappuram

At least 5,000 teachers in Kasargod and Malappuram districts in northern Kerala have stayed away from COVID vaccines citing religious beliefs. Malappuram and Kasargod are predominantly Muslim districts in Kerala, where Malappuram has over 70% Muslim residents.

According to reports, around 5,000 teachers and non-teaching staff have not taken a single dose of the coronavirus vaccine, citing religious beliefs and poor health, the Kerala State Minister of Education said, V Sivankutty. He said there are standing instructions that unvaccinated teachers will not be allowed to attend classes. He said these teachers will have more time to get vaccinated before action is taken against them.

According to officials, most of these unvaccinated teachers did not even attend offline classes. The administration has tried to get rid of teachers’ reluctance to immunize and is also trying to get religious leaders to step in and educate teachers about vaccines and help them understand the importance of coronavirus vaccines. .

For the moment, the National Education does not have the data of teachers who have not been vaccinated. Most teachers cited religious beliefs as the reason for not getting the vaccine.

Vaccination hesitation among Muslims in Kerala

According to the COWIN scorecard, to date Kerala has administered a total of 4 26 88 538 doses, of which approximately 170 36 736 have been administered at both doses. Recent surveys have shown that a large portion of the Muslim population does not trust vaccines, and the community’s vaccination rates are much lower than those of Hindus. In fact, a report from January 2020 indicates that nearly 5 lakhs of children had not been vaccinated against polio in Kerala while the Muslim majority Malappuram saw only 54% vaccination. It is relevant to note that Malappuram in Kerala has one of the highest concentrations of Muslim population and, according to census data, almost 70% of the people in the district are Muslims.

Meanwhile, Kerala continues to be the contributing state with the highest number of new active coronavirus cases in India. According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday, Kerala recorded 1,500 new cases while the total number of new cases in India stood at 1,832.

Ruth R. Culp