A video of Karnataka’s Tumkur district health officer (DHO) Dr M B Nagendrappa and government nursing college principal Dr Rajani posing for the camera to show that were administered COVID-19 vaccine is massively widespread on social media. Several people have alluded that the local administration is averse to taking the vaccine even as the general public would be given the doses.

The video has been shared with Kannada caption – “Tumkur district medical officer and government nursing college principal acted as if they took Covaxin” – on Facebook page Sadananda Nithyananda. It drew over 40,000 shares as of this writing.

ಕೊವಾಕ್ಸಿನ್‌‌ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡಂತೆ ನಟನೆ

ಕೊವಾಕ್ಸಿನ್‌‌ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡಂತೆ ನಟನೆ ಮಾಡಿದ ತುಮಕೂರು ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ ವೈದ್ಯಾಧಿಕಾರಿ ಮತ್ತು ಸರ್ಕಾರಿ ನರ್ಸಿಂಗ್ ಕಾಲೇಜಿನ ಪ್ರಾಂಶುಪಾಲೆ

Posted by Sadananda Nithyananda on Wednesday, 20 January 2021

The same has been shared on Facebook by the national president of Youth Congress Srinivas B V and Twitter users @Faizal_Peraje, @KaushikKumarMi3, @snapnchat and @rajakumaari.

Several media outlets – Oneindia Kannada, Vishwavani, Dajiworld, Latestly – also carried similar reports claiming that Dr Nagendrappa and Dr Rajani did not take COVID-19 vaccine and only posed for the cameras.

 

ವ್ಯಾಕ್ಸಿನ್ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳದೆ ನಾಟಕವಾಡಿದ ತುಮಕೂರು ಡಿಎಚ್ಒ: ಅಮಾನತ್ತಿಗೆ ಒತ್ತಾಯ
ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ಮಾಹಿತಿ :https://tinyurl.com/yxd8wxc3

Video credit: Twitter
#Tumkur #DHO #COVID19 #Vaccine

Posted by Oneindia Kannada on Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Medical officials refute social media allegation

Alt News contacted Dr Rajani who denied online claims. “I have seen the video circulating on social media and it is quite unfortunate that a false impression against the vaccine is being promoted among people. I did take the first dose of the vaccine and later posed for media personnel who wanted to take a picture. I will be taking the second shot after 28 days,” she said.

Dr Rajani shared government documents to show she was administered the vaccine on January 16. Alt News confirmed with local journalists that the photo-op was held on the same day.

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She also shared a text message from the national health portal that said she was given the vaccine at 4:05 PM on January 16. The central government has introduced a vaccination tracking portal CoWIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work) which currently does not give access to common people and only officials have access for now. The message below was sent after Dr Rajani’s details were uploaded on CoWIN (screenshot above).

Dr Rajani further said Tumkur DHO Dr M B Nagendrappa’s name was not on the list of people who were administered COVID-19 vaccine due to a technical glitch in the system but he was also vaccinated to the best of her knowledge.

Dr Nagendrappa reiterated to Alt News that he was given a vaccine jab and the video just shows a photo-op for the press. After Vishwavani’s report that health officials pretended to take the vaccine, the DHO issued a notice against the local media outlet. He shared a copy of the notice with us which says health officials themselves got vaccinated to spread awareness but the same couldn’t be documented and uploaded on the tracking platform due to technical glitches. “Necessary action would be taken,” reads the notice in reference to Vishwavani’s report.

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According to an investigative piece in The Ken, CoWIN, the technology platform meant to help track Covid vaccinations, “is glitchy, unpredictable and is also sparking serious privacy concerns”. The report further adds, “Conflicting text messages to beneficiaries, manual uploading of names at the vaccine centres, and an app that crashes repeatedly have all slowed down a vaccination drive meant to cover 300 million people.”

While a video widespread online has been shared to claim Tumkur DHO Dr Nagendrappa and government nursing college principal Dr Rajani pretended to take COVID vaccine, both health officials said that they did take the jab. Both of them stated that they posed for the camera when requested by media personnel after they were vaccinated. Dr Rajani also produced official documents that show she was vaccinated on January 16, the same day as the media photo-op.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.