Dip in vaccinations

The number of people taking the COVID-19 vaccine witnessed a dip during the last few days. According to officials of the Health Department, only 30% of the population in the city has taken at least one shot of the vaccine.

The scene at the Kalaiarangam and Devar Hall in the city was quite the opposite of what had transpired there over the last few weeks. While 1000 doses of the vaccine were distributed to each of the two centres to inoculate people with the second dose of Covaxin, by noon, only around 200 were administered. The medical officers at the site were contemplating whether they could open up the vaccination site to people to get the first dose. ‘We cannot waste the vaccine. If we get 10 people, we will open a vial and inoculate them,’ a staff at Kalaiarangam said.

While over 2,000 people used to gather at these locations each time a vaccination camp was announced, the crowd was sparse on Wednesday. ‘Many thronged to get the vaccine last month as they were asked to return to their workplaces with a vaccination certificate. However, the dip in COVID-19 cases has reflected in the turnout too,’ A. Mohammed Hakkim, doctor in charge of the vaccination drive in the city said.

Dr. Hakkim said that vaccine hesitancy continues to be an issue amongst the informal sector and people who do not venture outdoors. ‘Many have told me that they do not need the vaccine as they do not go to crowded places. Similarly, small shop owners, street vendors, etc., say they will lose a day’s wages if they take the vaccine,’ he said.

Another doctor said that the inconsistent supply of vaccines too may have had an effect on the turnout. The public must depend on information on social media and the newspapers to be informed of the vaccination sites of the day. ‘We are unable to operate all our vaccination sites every day because we are getting fewer doses than we can administer,’ they said.

Meanwhile, S. Ram Ganesh, Deputy Director of Health Services, Tiruchi, said that Adi Perukku celebration may also have affected the vaccine turnout.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 7:29:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/vaccine/article35726022.ece

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