Madurai

Vaccination drive begins in southern districts

Dean, Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, M. Ravichandran receives the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: A. Shaikmohideen

The Department of Public Health commenced vaccination of frontline health workers on Saturday.

With the Dean, Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, M. Ravichandran receiving the first shot in the presence of Collector V. Vishnu and Deputy Director of Public Health, M. Varadharajan, the vaccination drive was kicked off with doctors, nurses and staff of TVMCH cheering.

After the dry run organised on January 2 and 8 at eight places including TMCH, the vaccination commenced to cover 100 beneficiaries as planned. The district has received 15,100 vaccines and 66,000 disposable syringes.

“We don’t compel any health worker to get vaccinated as it is being done only with their consent so as to shield them against the virus. The second vaccination of the individual will be done on the 28th day at the same centre where the first dose was given. During this period, he or she should ensure physical distancing, wash hands frequently, wear gloves and sanitize the hands,” said Mr. Vishnu after the first vaccination.

On day one, 100 each beneficiaries were vaccinated at TVMCH and the Reddiyarpatti Upgraded Primary Health Centre. Details of about 20,963 beneficiary health workers of the district have been uploaded in the CoWIN App as they will be covered in the first phase.

In Thoothukudi, the exercise commenced in Thoothukudi District Medical College Hospital, Government Hospitals in Tiruchendur and Kovilpatti and Pudukottai Upgraded Primary Health Centre. Collector K. Senthil Raj and Superintendent of Police S. Jayakumar inaugurated the vaccination at Tiruchendur Government Hospital.

In Tenkasi district, Collector G. S. Sameeran inaugurated the vaccination at Tenkasi Government Hospital. The vaccination drive was organised at Sankarankovil Government Hospital and the Primary Health Centres at Pavoorchathram and Chokkampatti.

In Kanniyakumari, the drive started at Kanniyakumari District Government Medical College Hospital, Shenbagaramanpudhur Government Primary Health Centre and the Government Hospitals in Padmanabhapuram and Kuzhithurai. Collector M. Aravind inaugurated the vaccination in the medical college hospital in the presence of Dean Suganthi.

Only one turns up

In Kanniyakumari district, most of the health workers who were informed to come to the Padmanabhapuram Government Hospital to receive the vaccine did not turn up on Saturday, suspecting the efficacy or possible side-effects of the vaccine.

“Though the Union Government has chosen Covishield and Covaccine as vaccines for COVID-19, the latter is yet to complete its phase 3 trial and hence the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association has asked doctors, nurses and other health workers to insist for Covishield. Hence, our people are hesitant about this,” said a health worker, who had to receive the first shot at Padmanabhapuram Government Hospital.

Deputy Director of Public Health, Bosco Raj, while admitting that there was hesitation among some of the beneficiaries identified for today’s vaccination, said no one was being compelled to get vaccinated. “One person has received the shot in the afternoon at Padmanabhapuram Government Hospital and we’ve informed some of those who have been listed for tomorrow (Sunday) to receive the vaccine today (Saturday),” sources said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:16:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/vaccination-drive-begins-in-southern-districts/article33588279.ece

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