Residents of a village in the north of Guatemala On Monday, they held nurses who were trying to vaccinate them against the COVID-19 in rejection of the inoculation, informed authorities.
Gabriel Sandoval, Health Director of the Alta Verapaz department, said that the situation occurred in the Nahuila village of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas municipality, north of the Guatemalan capital, where the residents refused to be vaccinated.
“They closed the path of the community with large stones, they did not let anyone pass. They tied a talanquera (fence) on the road, punctured the tires of the vehicles and held them for 7 hours, “Sandoval told The Associated Press.
It is the first time that there is information on an incident of this type, said the doctor, although he confirmed that several communities have refused to be vaccinated.
“Other communities have refused, but what is done is to draw up minutes, where the communities take responsibility for the rejection, sign the act and it is settled that we went there to vaccinate them,” Sandoval said.
During the incident, 50 doses of the vaccine were lost and the thermos where it was carried were destroyed, said the doctor, adding that several complaints were filed for the events.
Police and local authorities negotiated to release the nurses, Sandoval explained.
The director said that “you could see this type of event coming,” because the lack of education and knowledge adds to the false information or jokes that circulate on social networks about vaccines.
“Something that showed us that it was coming is the negativity of the people to implement the measures, such as wearing the mask, because almost no one uses, or maintaining social distancing, but people crowd the places or the buses,” said the doctor .
More than 1 million people suitable for the application of the vaccine live in the area in approximately 2,400 indigenous communities, mostly of the Kekchí ethnic group.
“Many people do not believe in disease. There is a clash between the cultural, the religious and the customs, such as watching over their dead, ”explained the doctor, adding that local religious leaders have also contributed to the population not believing in COVID-19.
Guatemala registers 566,636 infected people and 13,750 deaths during the entire pandemic.
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