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Beneficiaries unaware of vaccine details, officials say sufficient stock of both available

Vaccine beneficiaries in the city continue to remain uninformed about the Covid-19 vaccine being administered to them, with many saying they have received “Covid shots”, instead of specifying either Covaxin or Covishield, the two vaccines available for use in the country
By Sadia Akhtar, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 11:39 PM IST

Vaccine beneficiaries in the city continue to remain uninformed about the Covid-19 vaccine being administered to them, with many saying they have received “Covid shots”, instead of specifying either Covaxin or Covishield, the two vaccines available for use in the country.

While health department officials did not disclose the number of vials of each vaccine, they said that the department had sufficient quantities of both the vaccines.

“We cannot disclose the name of the vaccine being administered at different sites. We simply refer to the two vaccines as Covid-19 vaccines. A majority of the places got Covishield while Covaxin was administered at limited sites,” said Dr MP Singh, district immunisation officer.

The Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc. and Bharat Biotech International’s Covaxin, developed in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), are the two available vaccines for protection against Covid-19 in the country. Both the vaccines comprise two doses that are to be administered within four to six weeks of one another.

Aazad Singh, 72, who got the vaccine dose at Civil Hospital in Sector 10, said that he was unaware of the name of the vaccine that he had been injected with. “Neither did I ask the doctor about the name of the vaccine nor did they tell me. All I know is that I have received the Covid vaccine and I’m grateful for that,” said Singh.

Dharmpal Yadav, 77, another beneficiary, said that while he wasn’t aware of the type of vaccine he had received, he was relieved to have taken the shot. “We were not told about the vaccine that we got but I am feeling perfect and don’t think there’s anything to worry about. I had been waiting for the vaccine for a long time and feel satisfied now,” said Yadav.

“I have read reports that say that beneficiaries will not be told about the vaccine that they receive. As a citizen, we deserve the right to know the vaccine that we are being administered. Ideally, we should be told this before we decide to visit a hospital. I will definitely enquire and seek details from the doctor when my turn comes,” said Smriti Juneja, who had approached Kalyani Hospital in Sector 14 to get her in-laws’ vaccinated.

Dr Sunaina Khetaripal, chief dietician at Kalyani Hospital, who was overseeing the vaccination process on Monday, said that the hospital had received Covishield vials and beneficiaries were made aware of the same. “We are administering Covishield and have been responding to queries from beneficiaries so that there are no doubts regarding the whole process,” said Khetaripal.

Visitors at many private facilities also received certificates, specifying the name of the vaccine they had just received.

Besides those who received the vaccine shot on Monday, many people were seen visiting health facilities and making inquiries about the vaccines. “I plan to get vaccinated by April and wanted to learn about the process before booking an appointment. I sought details about the vaccines and other aspects so that I can prepare myself. The vaccine will be a great source of relief and will certainly liberate us of the fear of Covid-19,” said Bhaskar, a college professor.

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