TMC leader allegedly administers Covid-19 vaccine, draws flak
The TMC leader said that she never administered the vaccine and just posed with it to raise awareness.
A Trinamool Congress leader in West Bengal allegedly administered the Covid-19 vaccine to a woman at a government vaccination camp in Asansol on Saturday drawing from the opposition, HT has learnt. The state health department has sought a report from the district's chief medical officer of health on the incident within three days.
Tabassum Ara, outgoing deputy mayor of the Asansol Municipal Corporation (AMC), who was at the centre of the controversy, however, said that she never administered the vaccine and just posed with it to raise awareness.
“I never pushed the injection. I just posed with the syringe to take a picture so that it could encourage others,” Ara told reporters.
The incident allegedly took place at a vaccination camp organised by the AMC at a red-light area in Kulti. While the drive was going on Ara, took a syringe from nursing staff and allegedly gave the vaccine to a woman.
“I received the vaccine. The woman who gave me the shot was not a doctor or a nurse,” said the woman who received the vaccine.
It triggered a controversy, particularly at a time when the BJP has been attacking the ruling TMC in West Bengal over a fake vaccination racket recently busted by the Kolkata Police.
“TMC supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee plays the role of a doctor, engineer and scientist singlehandedly. The party leaders are also like that. She (Ara) has just maintained the tradition of the TMC,” said Dilip Ghosh, president of the BJP’s Bengal unit.
The TMC, however, tried to downplay the allegations saying that even quacks are now being roped in.
“If any such incident has happened, the state and district administration would have to look into it. But in our country, even quacks are being recognised. Do they have any certificate? If they can be roped into the health infrastructure, then I don’t think that hue and cry should be raised if a person, out of enthusiasm, gives the right vaccine shot. But yes, the one who is administering the vaccine should have the knowledge without which it could be dangerous,” said Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, TMC MP.
The incident has also drawn flak from the doctors who said that the receiver could develop complications if the dose is not injected properly.
A senior doctor of the AMC said, “This is beyond the system. Only health workers are supposed to administer the vaccine.”
“I don’t know whether she has received any training. But a public figure need not give a dose to raise awareness. Covid-19 vaccination is a deep intra-muscular vaccine. Without training, it may end up in the wrong position. This may trigger complications,” Manas Gumta, state general secretary of the Association of Health Service Doctors, said.
Outgoing mayor Amarnath Chatterjee said that he has sought a report from the AMC chief health officer. Chatterjee has also issued show-cause notice to Ara, a doctor and two nurses present at the vaccination camp.