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Turnout for vaccination down to 54%; jail staff, health officials play the blame game

Only around 54% of the 1,200 targeted front-line workers turned up for the Covid-19 vaccination drive on Thursday
By Archana Mishra, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON FEB 11, 2021 11:17 PM IST

Only around 54% of the 1,200 targeted front-line workers turned up for the Covid-19 vaccination drive on Thursday.

While health department officials said that a majority of staff at the Bhondsi jail refrained from taking the shot, the superintendent of Bhondsi jail blamed the health department for not carrying sufficient doses.

“Due to insufficient vaccine doses carried by the vaccinators at the site the targeted staff could not be inoculated. The vaccination officers from the health department carried only 30 doses of vaccines with them despite their target of covering 200 people on Thursday,” said Harinder Singh, superintendent of Bhondsi jail.

“The department on February 7 provided the list of 269 front-line staff for registration. Only those who had received messages were given the vaccine shot on Thursday, while it has been conveyed to us that majority of the staff will be covered on February 15 during the vaccination drive,” he said.

However, health officials refuted the claim. Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer said, “The vaccinating team carried almost 400 doses of vaccine to the site. Enough vaccines are available with the health department to inoculate front-line workers. The staff did not turn up due to doubts regarding vaccine safety.”

The overall drop in the vaccination comes two days after the district reported 103% coverage on Tuesday. The vaccination of the front-line workers in the district started on February 4, with a poor footfall of employees from civic agency staff. The overall footfall, however, remained above 80% over the two days.

On Thursday, 650 of the 1,200 front-line workers — Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) staff, police and Bhondsi jail staff — took the vaccine jabs across 12 session sites. An additional site was also set up to inoculate 50 healthcare workers, but only 19 of them turned up.

As per the district health department data, 338 of 500 targeted MCG employees took the vaccine shot, while 285 of the 500 targeted police personnel turned up.

Dr MP Singh, district immunisation officer, said, “Over 1,250 front-line and healthcare workers were targeted, of whom 669 reached various vaccination sites to take the jab. There will be no vaccination drive on Friday. On Saturday, only MCG, police staff and rapid action force from Gujarat, who were deployed for farmers movement at the border, will be given shots at 13 vaccination sites.”

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