COVID-19 immunisation coverage low

The COVID-19 immunisation coverage in the Union Territory has been below par in the early phase of the roll out of vaccination.

Official data for the first three days of vaccination schedule across centres in Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam show that only about 31.62% of registered healthcare volunteers turned up for the first shot. The data also pointed to the number of volunteers falling to the lowest on Day three of the drive.

To date, 759 beneficiaries have received the first dose of Covishied during the vaccination drive organised at five centres in Puducherry, in addition to solitary centres in Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam.

In Puducherry, the centres were at the IGMCRI, Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Women and Children Hospital, CHC Karikalampakkam and Jipmer. While 150 volunteers were administered the first shot on the launch day on Saturday, the numbers on the subsequent two days were 117 and 146.

At Jipmer, where 101 persons took the first shot on the first day of the roll out, the number of volunteers dropped to 70 and 50 on the following days.

For the Union Territory as a whole, 274 volunteers took the jab on the first day, 280 on the second day while just 205 turned up on the third day. The immunisation coverage is least in Karaikal where only 28 beneficiaries have received the first dose so far.

The Health Department had made arrangements to administer vaccines to 100 beneficiaries at each centre.

So far, 413 healthcare personnel have been immunised in Puducherry, 28 in Karaikal, 229 in Mahe and 89 in Yanam.

A Health Department official said the low numbers were “inexplicable” and hoped that the numbers would pick up once people got over the phase of vaccine hesitancy. It is also being proposed to allow any registered healthcare worker to walk in for immunisation at a designated centre instead of streamlining the schedule solely through the app.

The Health Department had received a stock of 17,500 doses of Covishield ahead of the roll out of the nation-wide immunisation programme on Saturday last.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 3:39:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/covid-19-immunisation-coverage-low/article33620917.ece

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