Wait for second dose of Covaxin gets longer

A youth gets inoculated at Corporation School at Thennur in Tiruchi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

A section of the public is disappointed over the supply of a small number of Covaxin doses as at least 4,000 people are awaiting their second shot.

The district received 1,900 doses of Covaxin and 4,000 doses of Covishield, leading to resumption of vaccination drive on Thursday.

Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech, requires a gap of only 28 days between two doses compared to Serum Institute of India’s Covishield that requires at least 84 days. The gap has created a significant increase in demand for Covaxin, while the supply is unable to match it, officials say.

Speaking to The Hindu, a senior official at the Directorate of Public Health says a request has been placed for 4,000 doses of Covaxin. “Authorities allot vaccines based on the number of registered beneficiaries on Cowin portal, along with additional doses for special camps. However, we are getting fewer number of vaccines at the State-level, so distribution has become difficult.”

Many who are yet to get the second dose have expressed dismay on twitter and called for government intervention.

“We got the first dose in the last week of May. We are well past the due date for the vaccine but are unable to get it as there is no stock. I must return to work but cannot do so without the jab and I am stranded,” a resident of Thillai Nagar said.

Residents who took to twitter have reached out to the Collector, doctors and even the Minister of Medical and Family Welfare.

However, Tiruchi Corporation has drawn up a unique plan to administer Covaxin doses, as they are less in number.

“We have a list of people who need to get the second jab. We call them individually and give them a time slot and location. A message sent to their number will serve as a token and the individual can go to the location with proof of their first shot and get the second one,” A. Mohammed Hakkim, emergency physician in charge of the vaccination drive, says.

When public camps are set up for small allotment of doses, the public gathers in large numbers and causes chaos demanding that they be given the jab. For this reason, the location of the special camp for Covaxin will also be changed from time to time, he adds.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 1:03:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/wait-for-second-dose-of-covaxin-gets-longer/article35217274.ece

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