Around 43% in Delhi get second dose of Covid-19 vaccines
Less than half of the health care workers in Delhi who were scheduled to receive their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine turned up to get the jab on Saturday, even as the 43% turnout rate in the Capital far exceeded the overall turnout across the country on the day.
Across India, only 4% of those who received the shot on January 16, when the inoculation drive kicked off, turned up for the second shot on Saturday, according to provisional data shared by the Union health ministry.
With 1,856 people getting the second shot, Delhi accounted for over 24% of the 7,668 second doses administered, as per the provisional data.
Even then, administration officials in the city attributed the low turnout in Delhi to the weekend, and the fact that hospitals were open only for half the day.
“Today, fewer vaccinations happened in total at the centre, largely because it is a Saturday, when many of our employees have their weekly off or leave the hospital by mid-day,” said Dr AK Singh Rana, medical superintendent of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, where 247 people received the shot in comparison to 319 the day before.
Dr Rana himself missed his second dose of the vaccine as he was in a kidney transplant surgery.
“It is a very delicate surgery and I did not want to take the vaccine before it, because of the slightest possibility that I might develop a fever or any other side effects. By the time I was done with the surgery the vaccination centre had closed,” he said.
The number of people who receive the second dose of the vaccine is likely to go up Monday onwards.
Among those who did receive the second shot of the vaccine on Saturday was 34-year-old Manish Kumar, a sanitation worker from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who the first person in the Capital to get a jab of a Covid-19 vaccine.
“When I had gone to the vaccination centre on the first day, everybody I spoke to wanted to wait for Dr Randeep Guleria (the AIIMS director) to get the shot. But I went ahead and said I would like to get it first, if possible. That’s why the staff at the vaccination centre was surprised that I turned up very late at about 4pm for my second dose; my shift was from 1pm, so I decided to come in late,” said Kumar. He also urged all eligible people to get the vaccine, and said the jab had no side-effects on him.
Dr Sandeep Nayyar, head of the centre for chest medicine at BL Kapur hospital, was first in line to get his second shot of Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday. “I experienced no adverse events after either shot and continued my day as usual. I will urge everyone to get the vaccine so that we do not have to go through what we did in 2020. However, getting the vaccine does not mean that people stop following the precautions as it will still take a long time to immunise everyone,” he said.
On Saturday, in addition to the 1,856 people who received the second dose of the vaccine, 11,912 people received their first shots. The total, 13,768, is slightly less than the 14,843 people who were vaccinated yesterday and 15,807 the day before that.
Among those who received the first shot of the vaccine, around 30% were health care workers, while the rest were those classified as “frontline workers”. In North district, no healthcare worker received their first shot on Saturday and only five healthcare workers in Northeast district got a jab of the vaccines.
As per the centre’s directions, the immunisation of healthcare workers will end on February 20 and that of frontline workers on March 1. Five days after each deadline will be allotted for mop up to give the shots to those who might have missed it. After this, immunisation of those over the age of 50 will begin.
“There is a lot of messages going around among doctors and other healthcare workers that the immune response is better when the doses are given 12 weeks apart. This is the reason many might want to wait till the six week cut-off to get the shot. Some might be scared of adverse reactions as there could be more reactogenecity during the second dose,” said Dr Suneela Garg, professor of community medicine at Maulana Azad Medical College.
No adverse events following immunisation(AEFI) were reported in people who got their second shot on Saturday and six AEFI were reported among those who got the first shot