Photos: Getting the Covid-19 vaccine to Malana, Himachal Pradesh | Hindustan Times
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Photos: Getting the Covid-19 vaccine to Malana, Himachal Pradesh

Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:42 PM IST

To visit the Indian village of Malana deep in the Himalayas, a Covid-19 vaccination team scrambled over a landslide that blocked the road the day before, scaled a retaining wall and then began a three-hour trek down and up a river valley. Despite the hostile terrain, the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, where Malana is located, earlier this month became the first in India to administer at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose in all its adults. Himachal Pradesh's Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur pins the state's vaccination success to its village-to-village drive, its decision to involve local-level politicians, and the federal government's push to prioritise immunisations in tourist hotspots.

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Kanta Devi, 26, a health worker, carries a box containing Covishield vaccines, as she walks through a road that was blocked after a landslide, near Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. To vaccinate the villagers of Malana, one challenge to overcome by health workers was the steep topography, moreover to walk on it for hours and another was religious beliefs, as the tourism-dependent state immunised its roughly 5 million adults, Reuters reported.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:42 PM IST

Kanta Devi, 26, a health worker, carries a box containing Covishield vaccines, as she walks through a road that was blocked after a landslide, near Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. To vaccinate the villagers of Malana, one challenge to overcome by health workers was the steep topography, moreover to walk on it for hours and another was religious beliefs, as the tourism-dependent state immunised its roughly 5 million adults, Reuters reported.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS)

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Health workers trek through mountains to vaccinate people, near Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. On September 14, a team of five led by district health officer Dr Atul Gupta set out to Malana to administer second vaccine doses for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:42 PM IST

Health workers trek through mountains to vaccinate people, near Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. On September 14, a team of five led by district health officer Dr Atul Gupta set out to Malana to administer second vaccine doses for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS)

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Bimla Thakur, 56, a health worker, treks through mountains to vaccinate people, near Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. Blocked by the landslide, they left their vehicle with two blue vaccine boxes slung over their shoulders to manoeuvre over the rubble, climb the wall and then walk to the trailhead leading to the village, accompanied by a Reuters photographer. (Adnan Abidi / REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:42 PM IST

Bimla Thakur, 56, a health worker, treks through mountains to vaccinate people, near Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. Blocked by the landslide, they left their vehicle with two blue vaccine boxes slung over their shoulders to manoeuvre over the rubble, climb the wall and then walk to the trailhead leading to the village, accompanied by a Reuters photographer. (Adnan Abidi / REUTERS)

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Medical kits and boxes containing Covishield vaccines, are transported on a ropeway trolley to Malana village, in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. Before beginning the trek to the village, Gupta and his team placed the boxes onto a gondola connected to pulleys to carry the medicine across the river gorge that separates Malana from the road. That lightened their walk considerably as they set off to cross the gorge which drops down about 100 metres (330 feet), Reuters reported.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:42 PM IST

Medical kits and boxes containing Covishield vaccines, are transported on a ropeway trolley to Malana village, in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. Before beginning the trek to the village, Gupta and his team placed the boxes onto a gondola connected to pulleys to carry the medicine across the river gorge that separates Malana from the road. That lightened their walk considerably as they set off to cross the gorge which drops down about 100 metres (330 feet), Reuters reported.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS)

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An aerial view of Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. During a rest break on the trek, Gupta said that to convince Malana's 1,100 adults to take their first shots in August, its district chief had priests invoke a local Hindu deity. This helped health workers cover up to 700 people in three days, Gupta told Reuters.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:42 PM IST

An aerial view of Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. During a rest break on the trek, Gupta said that to convince Malana's 1,100 adults to take their first shots in August, its district chief had priests invoke a local Hindu deity. This helped health workers cover up to 700 people in three days, Gupta told Reuters.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS)

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Villagers queue to get the dose of Covishield vaccine, near Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. When Gupta's team reached the village nearly three dozen people, who took their first shots before the invocation, lined up to get their second shots just opposite an ancient temple to the deity.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:42 PM IST

Villagers queue to get the dose of Covishield vaccine, near Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. When Gupta's team reached the village nearly three dozen people, who took their first shots before the invocation, lined up to get their second shots just opposite an ancient temple to the deity.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS)

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Kamla Devi, 58, a health worker, administers a dose of the Covishield vaccine to a villager, at Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. "People were initially scared to take the vaccine, worried they would fall sick or die," village head Rajuram told Reuters. "Then I took it and others also mustered the courage."(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:42 PM IST

Kamla Devi, 58, a health worker, administers a dose of the Covishield vaccine to a villager, at Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. "People were initially scared to take the vaccine, worried they would fall sick or die," village head Rajuram told Reuters. "Then I took it and others also mustered the courage."(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS)

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Nirma Devi, 31, and Phula Devi, 30, hold boxes containing Covishield vaccines as they pose for a picture at Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. India wants to vaccinate nearly all of its adults by December, having administered at least one dose to two-thirds of people and two doses in less than a quarter. Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur wants his state to be the fastest to reach the two-dose milestone, hopefully by November.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:42 PM IST

Nirma Devi, 31, and Phula Devi, 30, hold boxes containing Covishield vaccines as they pose for a picture at Malana village in Himachal Pradesh, on September 14. India wants to vaccinate nearly all of its adults by December, having administered at least one dose to two-thirds of people and two doses in less than a quarter. Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur wants his state to be the fastest to reach the two-dose milestone, hopefully by November.(Adnan Abidi / REUTERS)

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