Some Staphorst residents choose to receive Covid-19 vaccine in secret, GP says
A GP in Staphorst said to the Volkskrant that he has been visiting patients at home to "vaccinate them in secret." According to the GP, the taboo on Covid-19 is still huge in the province of Overijssel in the Bible Belt.
"I have patients who are willing to get the jab but are terrified of the judgment of the community, so I'm going to visit their homes soon to give them the vaccine secretly," Reza Pezeshki Nia said to Volkskrant.
The GP said he heard arguments similar to the polio epidemic 40 years ago. "Incidentally, an elderly patient said that people in Staphort already went to other villages to have themselves vaccinated during the polio epidemic secretly. Little has changed in 40 years in that regard."
He tried to persuade patients who preferred not to be vaccinated with reference to a story in the Bible about the devil challenging Jesus to jump from a temple. Jesus then objects that you should not put God to the test.
"Some of my patients were convinced by this, but most were not. They are sure that the devil invented the vaccine," Pezeshki Nia said. "But no matter how they react: I respect everyone."
The vaccination rate in Staphort was at 56 percent. Nationally, it is at almost 83 percent. The village has a high number of infections.
This week, around half of all Covid-19 patients at the Isala hospital in Zwolle were residents of Staphost. The hospital thus had to delay some surgeries due to the influx of Covid-19 patients.
The national patient coordination center (LCPS) began spreading out patients out this week to avoid medical centers from becoming overcrowded.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.