One vaccine dose given, records say two

Issue being reported mostly by migrants; Delhi govt. instructs officials to take remedial action

Published - January 23, 2022 03:07 am IST - New Delhi

A man getting vaccinated at a centre in New Delhi on Saturday.

A man getting vaccinated at a centre in New Delhi on Saturday.

Around 2 p.m. on January 19, Aarti, 19, was waiting in a queue at at a vaccination centre in Madanpur Khadar in south Delhi to get her second dose of COVID vaccine.

When her turn came, she was in for a surprise. The screen at the vaccination centre showed that she had already taken the second dose. “I had taken the first dose from our village in Uttar Pradesh and now they are saying that I have taken the second dose too, which I clearly haven’t. One of our relatives from the village had also faced the same issue,” Ms. Aarti said, showing the vaccination slip of her first dose.

After waiting for a while, Ms. Aarti left the vaccination centre without getting the second shot.

Ms. Arti’s is not the only case of its kind. Many such cases have been reported across the national capital where the CoWIN portal shows people having taken both the doses of the vaccine, while beneficiaries claim to have received only one dose, several officials told The Hindu . Almost all of these people have been administered the first dose in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, said the officials.

New account

The Delhi government came across this problem in December 2021 and issued a video to all 11 districts on how these people could take the second dose. According to the video, which has been accessed by The Hindu , a person who faces this issue has to login to the CoWIN portal and click on “raise an issue” and choose “report unknown member in your account” and delete the account.

“Before deleting the earlier account, we note the date of the first dose of the vaccine. Then we create a new account and put that as the date of the first vaccine and then give the second dose. We use the same ID card the person used while getting the first dose and it gets done on the same day itself,” an official said.

“The government noticed many such cases last month and directed all the districts on how to deal with them. Now such cases have come down. Most such cases are being reported by migrants,” a senior Delhi government official said.

No communication to U.P., Bihar

However, the official added, an official communication on the issue has so far not been sent to the governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. “The Union government must be aware of this issue. This could be happening due to the pressure of inflating the number of vaccinations or it could just be a technical glitch. We don’t know,” the official added.

In November, Suman Devi, 27, and her husband faced the same problem at the Madanpur Khadar vaccination centre. “They said my husband and I have already received the second dose as per records. Only after we complained, we were vaccinated again. The officials took down our PAN details for the second dose,” she said. The couple had taken the first dose in Gopalganj, Bihar.

Her husband Saurabh Ahuja said, “Just as we were going to the vaccination centre, I got a message on my mobile phone stating that I have been vaccinated with the second dose.” Mr. Ahuja then called his brother who went to the government hospital in Gopalganj where they had taken their first shot of the vaccine and checked with the Auxiliary nurse midwife. The ANM told Mr. Ahuja’s brother that he had no idea of how this glitch had occurred but offered to provide the second dose nevertheless.

Ajendra Sirohi, the state in-charge of Agragami India, an NGO whose field office is being used as the vaccination centre in Madanpur Khadar, said that they have received many such cases. “Every other day we get a case like this. Then it is conveyed to the team in the District Magistrate’s office. Subsequently that person is given their second dose after they are registered using a different ID card,” Mr. Sirohi said.

He said that in December a woman , around 25 years old, had come to take the first dose, but both her Voter ID and Aadhaar Card had already been used by someone else to get vaccinated. “She had to apply for a PAN Card and only after receiving it could she take the vaccine in January,” Mr. Sirohi added.

Reasons unknown

He added that the reasons behind this were still not known. “Of 100 people who have taken the first dose in U.P. or Bihar, about 10-20 people receive an auto-generated message stating that they’ve received their second dose,” he said.

When contacted, Dr. Girish Tyagi, secretary, Delhi Medical Council, suspected some illegal action to be the cause behind this malfunction and wished that the government look into this issue.

“Someone could have colluded with staff at a particular vaccination centre and got a shot, and it could have been added to the name of a person who had already taken the first dose,” Dr. Tyagi said.

R.S. Sharma, chairman of the empowered group for COVID-19 vaccine administration for the country, asked for details of a few individuals facing this issue. However, he did not offer a comment after details of three persons facing this issue were shared with him.

A Delhi government spokesperson also did not comment on whether they have informed the issue to the Central or other State governments and on the possible reasons behind occurrence of this issue.

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