Now, Covaxin is biggest crowd-puller in Tiruchi

A vaccination centre at Kalaiarangam in Tiruchi teeming with people on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

Large crowds gathered to get the second dose of Covaxin after a fresh consignment arrived in Tiruchi district after a long wait.

Around 2,000 doses were allotted for the district, while at least 4,000 people gathered at vaccination centres, officials said.

Covaxin, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, has been in short supply and much in demand as the time interval between two shots is 28 days compared to Covishield’ss 84.

A. Hakkim, emergency physician in charge of the inoculation drive within city limits, says crowd control seems to be a bigger problem than convincing people to get the jab. “When we announce that a specific vaccination centre has a stock of 700 doses, at least 2,000 people gather there,” he points out.

Officials are forced to send them away and arguments occur, he adds.

At Kalaiarangam and Jamal Mohammed College, Covaxin was administered to 1,400 people. “Many think that this is the best time to get vaccinated as the number of cases are low. But that does not allow overcrowding,” he says.

Several act as proxy. “They make excuses that they are there on behalf of an aged relative, but they end up allowing more than 10 people to cut the queue. Seeing this, others pick up a fight. And then there are those who demand special treatment,” the physician lists.

Reopening of offices and workplaces has also led to increase in people rushing to get the jab. “Some organisations have begun to insist on vaccination certificates and even go as far as deducting the employee’s salary or medical allowances. To avoid this, people are rushing to get the vaccine,” a senior official in the civic body said.

Covaxin is preferred due to shorter waiting time between two doses, the official adds.

The possibility of a fake vaccination racket also looms large

With vaccines in short supply, Dr. Hakkim predicts that the crowds would continue to throng vaccination centres until restrictions are imposed. “They complain about crowds ,but they do not follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, which is disheartening,” he rues.

Meanwhile, 245 travel agents, tour guides and others attached to the hospitality industry were vaccinated at a special camp organised at the Hotel Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 11:50:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/in-tiruchi-covaxin-is-a-crowd-puller/article35325629.ece

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