Nurse Attacked During Vaccination Drive In Kerala, 3 Arrested

Kerala Written by

The nurse and several others were attacked by an armed group during a vaccination drive in Kerala's Malappuram.

The nurse, Shyamala B, had her arm twisted as a gang targetted health workers in Kerala.

A nurse was attacked during a vaccination drive in Kerala's Malappuram. Shyamala B's arm was twisted and other health workers were roughed up by a group of men, three of whom have now been arrested.

The police said the attackers, armed with knives, had struck as the vaccination drive against measles and rubella was being conducted at a school in Edavoor on Thursday. They attacked the health workers and smashed Ms Shyamala's cellphone. The nurse has been admitted at a hospital in nearby Kuttipuram.

The police the attackers included people whose relatives had come for vaccination. "They entered the school and as the discussion with the doctors and nurses got heated,  they began attacking the health officials," said Prateesh Kumar, a senior police officer.

Vaccination drive against measles and rubella is being held across Kerala.

Traditionally, some groups in Malappuram have been resistant to vaccination. The drive against the two diseases -- held across Kerala for children up to the age of 15 years - has been facing sporadic opposition in the Muslim-majority area.

Activists say the anti-vaccination groups spread messages on WhatsaApp, claiming vaccines lower life expectancy. But medical officers say the resistance has gone down over the last few years, with schools and institutions voluntarily opening their doors to vaccination drives.

Health Minister KK Shailaja has condemned the incident, saying, "Strict action will be taken in such cases. But these should be seen in isolation with no support from the public at large."