A journey of 70 km to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: AFP

For 47-year-old Raghu (name changed on request) a resident of Tiruppur, taking the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine turned out to be challenging, as private hospitals had run out of stocks and there was a rush at the Tiruppur Government Hospital.

Since Raghu has to often travel on work to other districts and did not want to take a risk with his health, based on a suggestion from a relative,he decided to try getting the vaccine at a rural primary health centre. He decided to drive down to a rural areas. He stopped at a PHC near Dharapuram, over 70 km from Tiruppur. There was no one there except the doctor and a healthcare worker and vaccines were available. He gave his Aadhaar card, registered and got his first dose.

Many like Raghu in Coimbatore and Tiruppur are travelling to villages for the vaccine, mainly due to lack of availability in some towns and to get vaccinated at a centre where there is no crowd. Some large companies are enquiring in different locations where they have plants, for the vaccine, for their employees.

However, this trend worked only for a week or 10 days when vaccination was opened for those aged above 45. Now, people face problems of crowding and vaccine shortage in rural areas too, says a textile sector entrepreneur in Coimbatore.

In some of the PHCs and hospitals located close to the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border in Coimbatore, many are coming in from the border areas of both States to take the vaccines. “There is a huge rush and people who come for a short visit get restless when they are told that there is no vaccine stock as they have waited for hours,” says the doctor at a hospital.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 12:10:19 AM |

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