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Covaxin has few takers on second day of vaccinations in Gurugram

Only 35% of the 436 healthcare workers for whom Covaxin vaccine was allocated attended the vaccination drive on Monday, which was much lower than the average total turnout of around 60%
By Archana Mishra, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:27 PM IST

Only 35% of the 436 healthcare workers for whom Covaxin vaccine was allocated attended the vaccination drive on Monday, which was much lower than the average total turnout of around 60%. According to the district health department data, only 154 healthcare staff, mostly comprising sanitation staff and other housekeeping employees, received the jab.

Doctors and senior medical experts said that there is no concern regarding the safety of Covaxin and that beneficiaries should not hesitate to take it.

Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer, said, “The acceptability for Covaxin will steadily increase in the coming weeks. Overall, the footfall remained low as vaccination messages from Co-WIN app did not reach the beneficiaries timely. It is advised that people not have doubts about the safety of Covaxin.”

Even during the first day of the drive on January 16, healthcare workers were thrown off by the consent form that they had to sign to receive the Covaxin vaccine. Only 39 healthcare workers were administered Covaxin on January 16, at the Palam Vihar vaccination site.

On Monday, Covaxin vaccine was allocated for beneficiaries at the Cloudnine, W Pratiksha, Park, and Metro Hospital session sites.

At W Pratikhsa Hospital, only 25 of the 105 beneficiaries turned up till 3pm. Primarily, it included sanitation and housekeeping staff, said Fazil Ahmed, the nodal officer of the vaccination site. “In the first round, healthcare workers like housekeeping staff or sanitation staff had been taken up. Many employees have quit their job in the past, so they cannot be counted. In the next round, it is likely that doctors will be included.”

Even at Cloudnine Hospital, the footfall remained low. A couple of doctors opted out of the vaccination after enquiring about the vaccine being provided. Of 110 healthcare workers, 62 received the jabs. At the site, doctors who withdrew from taking the jab said that they have reservations as Covaxin is still in its trial phase. A hospital employee privy to the matter said that those who received vaccine jabs were mostly housekeeping staff.

A healthcare worker, requesting anonymity, said, “Since I have been planning to conceive, doctors have advised me to not to take Covaxin as it would delay the process by at least three months.”

As beneficiaries remained apprehensive, a few doctors at Cloudnine Hospital came forward for the vaccination and said that they have been constantly following up on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. “The vaccine is completely safe. One should not question the credibility of the vaccine, especially when AIIMS-Delhi director Randeep Guleria took the Covaxin jab on the first day. People should not be nervous in taking the shot for it is safe,” said an anaesthesiologist at Cloudnine Hospital, who took the vaccine shot.

Doctors at the Max Hospital on Monday offered to take up vaccinations with the Covaxin vaccine for the next batch of healthcare workers. Babita Jain, head of department, paediatrics, Max Hospital, who was at the site, said, “It is a killed vaccine constituting inactivated virus. It should be preferred, for it hardly has any implications.”

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Anupam Varma, partner at law firm J Sagar Associates, said the vesting of authority in a state government to decide the qualification, skill, etc, of employees of a private employer will be inimical to the ease of doing business initiatives of the central government.(File photo for representation)
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