Seniors struggle to step out for jab, kin request home vaccination

A senior citizen relies on her walking stick while going in for vaccination at the Fever Hospital in Hyderabad. File photo  

The kin of elderly persons who are unable to step out of home due to various medical conditions have sought an alternative arrangement to visiting a hospital for COVID-19 vaccination. The immunisation drive for senior citizens as well as those in the 45-59 year age bracket with co-morbidities began from Monday.

At the vaccination centres, some senior citizens have been seen in wheelchairs or depending on walking sticks.

“My 75-year-old mother has back pain and can only take a maximum of five steps at a time. Apart from going to the washroom, she cannot walk and stays confined to the bed. If she requires medical consultation, we arrange for the doctor to visit our home,” said a government employee, seeking anonymity.

For the vaccination, one has to pay service charge in case of a private hospital and wait for their turn to be given the vaccine. After taking the jab, one has to remain under observation for half hour lest they develop any Adverse Effect Following Immunisation (AEFI).

Time-taking process

“The whole process could take more than an hour and my mother cannot sit on a wheelchair for long. I am sure there are more people in a similar condition,” the government employee added.

There are other concerns too. Many fear that their elderly parents might contract a disease at a hospital.

“Any senior citizen would be too tired after the vaccination process to properly sanitise themselves after returning from hospital. Another issue that has to be considered is that some elderly persons who have lost muscle mass might not have enough muscle to be administered the vaccine in the arm,” said Prabhat Kishore (name changed on request), who is also a government employee.

A few others said that apart from their parents, other family members too have serious co-morbidities, and a lot of time and effort goes into taking care of them, especially when they have to be taken from one place to another.

Senior officials of the Health department could not be reached over phone. They had earlier said that COVID-19 vaccine is provided only in hospitals; vaccination at home or other places would not be allowed.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 7:34:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/seniors-struggle-to-step-out-for-jab-kin-request-home-vaccination/article33983445.ece

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