If all goes well, a month from now, the country could well have more people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine than any other country.(AFP)
If all goes well, a month from now, the country could well have more people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine than any other country.(AFP)

62% turnout on day 1 of vaccination drive in Bihar, tepid response to Covaxin

  • As many as 18,122 beneficiaries out of a target of 29,240 across 301 session sites got the first dose of the vaccine in Bihar on Saturday.
By Ruchir Kumar, Patna
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:46 PM IST

Bihar achieved 62 per cent of its vaccination target on the inaugural day of the pan-India launch of the vaccination drive against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Saturday. Majority of beneficiaries showed reluctance to receive shots of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, which is still in phase 3 trials.

As many as 18,122 beneficiaries out of a target of 29,240 across 301 session sites got the first dose of the vaccine in Bihar on Saturday.

However, only 49 per cent of those enrolled turned up at the six session sites (vaccination centres) where Covaxin was being administered. As against 600 beneficiaries, only 265 turned up to receive the Covaxin shots.

AIIMS-Patna, Patna Medical College College, Nalanda Medical College, Sri Krishna Medical College (Muzaffarpur), Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (Bhagalpur) and Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College in Gaya were among the six session sites selected to administer Covaxin.

AIIMS-Patna director Dr Prabhat Kumar Singh was among those to have taken the Covaxin shot, said a communique from the institute.

At NMCH, for instance, 31 out of 100 beneficiaries turned up to take the Covaxin shot.

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

The response to Serum Institute’s Covishield was better with 17,857 of the targeted 28,640 beneficiaries taking it on day one — an acceptance of 62 per cent. Serum Institute’s Covishield was administered to beneficiaries at 295 session sites in Bihar.

“There is no question of forcing anyone to take the vaccine shots. Taking the vaccine is desirable, not mandatory,” said Bihar’s principal secretary, health, Pratyaya Amrit.

The state had planned to vaccinate 100 beneficiaries across each session site. However, it could not cobble up the required number as some session sites at private health facilities had less than 100 beneficiaries, said executive director of the State Health Society, Bihar (SHSB), Manoj Kumar, who is also the nodal officer for vaccination in the state.

In the case of both vaccines, recipients will get two doses four weeks apart and the effects will start showing 14 days after the second dose.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, excluding holidays, have been identified as vaccination days in Bihar.

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