West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.(File photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.(File photo)

'Will bear cost': Mamata Banerjee requests Centre for adequate supply of vaccine

As many as 14 out of 15,707 vaccine recipients developed adverse effects after immunisation while health of a nurse turned serious after taking the jab.
By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:01 AM IST

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has requested the Union government to send adequate supply of Covid-19 vaccines for all citizens in the state and said that her government is ready to bear the cost.

Top officials of the state health department said that around 15,707 people could be vaccinated on the first day out of which 14 developed Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI). The health condition of one recipient turned serious after vaccination but was later said to be stable.

The state had set a target of vaccinating 20,700 people at 207 centres across the state. In Kolkata, the turnout was 92 per cent.

“She (Banerjee) has already requested the Union government to supply an adequate number of vaccines for not only the frontline workers but also for all the people of West Bengal. She strongly felt that all the people of West Bengal should get vaccines free of cost as early as possible. If needed, the state might bear the financial burden,” said a statement issued by the state government.

Also read: Maharashtra suspends Covid-19 vaccine drive till Jan 18 due to CoWIN app glitch

Banerjee said this at a program organised at the state secretariat from where she virtually addressed all the healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, support staff, ASHA and students among others, who gathered at the vaccination centres.

At least 14 people complained of AEFI, which is less than one in 1,000 persons. The health condition of one recipient, who works as a nurse in a state-run hospital, was slightly serious. Later her condition was stated to be stable.

“She started shivering and was rushed to the NRS Hospital. She was doing fine. Her husband said that she was allergic to some drugs since childhood. This is not alarming and such AEFI is normal if anyone is allergic to some drugs,” said a top health official.

"The nurse developed rigor and had to be rushed to the NRS Hospital. This could be an acute allergic reaction. She has a history of drug allergy and in such cases, it is expected but rare. She is undergoing treatment and there is no reason to worry. The AEFI committee swung into action," said a senior doctor of the hospital.

Starting next week, the vaccination drive would be carried out four days a week – Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile, at least two Trinamool Congress MLAs, Rabindranath Chatterjee and Subhas Mondal, took the vaccine in Purba Burdwan district on Saturday triggering a political row.

The BJP attacked the chief minister and said that she has a habit of complaining without finding any solutions.

“She has a habit of complaining and doesn’t want to find any solutions. If TMC MLAs take the vaccine then there is bound to be a shortfall. Has she developed any factory in her locality or she wants to bring vaccines from China? What’s the guarantee that the vaccine, which she wants to give, would not be real vaccine and not water from the river Ganges?” said Dilip Ghosh, BJP state president.

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