42% beneficiaries have skipped Covid vaccine shot in Chandigarh tricity area
Only 58% of the beneficiaries identified to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the tricity since the launch of the nationwide drive on Saturday have got their first dose till Tuesday.
Mohali district lags behind at 43%, while Panchkula and Chandigarh have recorded 63% and 61% target achievement, respectively.
Experts cite hesitancy among people as the reason, but are confident that the numbers will go up as confidence in the vaccine grows.
As the drive resumed in Chandigarh on Tuesday, the percentage of beneficiaries who received the shot dropped to 43.5% against 75% recorded on the first day.
Only 174 health workers were inoculated at the four sites against the target of 400. Additionally, 30 defence personal from the air force station were also vaccinated. Meanwhile, one minor adverse reaction was reported at the civil hospital in Sector 45.
Only 548 of the targeted 900 people have got their first jab so far. When asked about the poor response, Dr Deepak Chawla, nodal officer of Covid-19 immunisation at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, said there are apprehensions among people about the side effects. “There are no reports of any major adverse impact across the country. All senior doctors have taken the jab and more people will come forward soon,” he said.
Dr Pankaj Malhotra, who is monitoring Covishield trial volunteers at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, said: “Whenever there is a new immunisation programme, there is hesitancy among people. However, people should not be concerned about mild symptoms after getting the jab, as these point to the fact that the vaccine is doing its work.”
Meanwhile, the UT administration on Tuesday received its second batch of Covishield, which contained 11,500 doses. Earlier, 12,000 doses were received for 5,400 health workers.
Numbers slide in Panchkula
In Panchkula, too, the target achievement went down from 95% on Saturday to 61.5% on Tuesday. Of 1,131 health and frontline workers, 713 have got the jab. The target is to cover 6,219 in the first phase, said Dr Meenu, immunisation officer, Panchkula.
On Tuesday, 430 of 699 beneficiaries were inoculated at five sites across the district. The authorities had organised a camp at the civil dispensary in Sector 4 on Monday as well, where only 16 of the targeted 150 health workers turned up.
Dr Meenu said the drive is voluntary and it takes time to convince people. “Doctors are coming forward and senior health officials have got vaccinated. It will boost the morale of others as well, especially Class-4 employees who are a bit reluctant,” she said, adding that the response in Pinjore was good, where 96 of 118 people were vaccinated.
Meanwhile, 65 adverse events have been reported following immunisation to date. “All cases were minor, wherein people reported mild body aches. No admission was required,” said Dr Meenu, adding: “Almost every vaccine causes mild reactions. There is nothing to worry.”
Mohali picking up pace
Mohali district, which has the poorest recovery rate across the tricity, is also lagging behind in the vaccination drive, with only 224 of the targeted 520 health workers covered so far.
However, on Tuesday, the achievement rate touched 167% as 167 people were vaccinated against the target of 100 at three sites, including two private hospitals. It had stood at 11% and 19% on Saturday and Monday, respectively.
Dr Adarshpal Kaur, civil surgeon, Mohali, said: “People are coming forward gradually. Some of them were hesitant, but we motivating them and now they have been vaccinated.” In the first phase, 11,284 beneficiaries are to be vaccinated in the district.
Dr Amit Kumar Mandal of Fortis Hospital, who was the first to be vaccinated at the hospital on Tuesday, said: “A lot has been discussed and debated about the vaccine. It’s about time we take the jab and stay protected. There are two ways of getting the immunity — one is getting the infection and recovering from it and the other is getting the vaccine shot and developing the immunity, which is a wiser option.”