Tamil Nadu

Vaccination yet to pick up pace; no takers in Aranthangi, Perambalur

A total of 3,030 healthcare personnel were vaccinated on the second day of the drive on Sunday to protect the front-line workers from COVID-19. While 183 persons received Covaxin, 2,847 received Covishield.

The government said it had the capacity to administer 14,460 doses a day across the 45 sites. In Chennai, which has the capacity to administer 1,200 doses a day, only 402 persons volunteered to be vaccinated.

Across the six government medical college hospitals in the State, where Covaxin was being offered, the willingness to be inoculated was yet to pick up, though it appeared to be better than Saturday.

In Coimbatore, 245 persons received the vaccine, while in the Nilgiris, 217 persons opted for it. None in Aranthangi and Perambalur chose to be inoculated. The Health Department had allotted 300 doses for Ararnthangi, and Perambalur has the capacity to administer 98 doses.

The government had the capacity of providing 100 doses each at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai, besides the medical college hospitals in Tirunelveli, Tiruchi, Chengalpattu, Thanjavur and Pudukottai.

The Thanjavur Medical College Hospital saw 60 persons, the highest number, getting inoculated on Sunday. At the Tiruchi hospital, where Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan got himself vaccinated, 40 persons received the vaccine. At the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai, 36 healthcare professionals agreed to give it a try, while in Tirunelveli, 26 persons were vaccinated. The number dropped to 20 in Chengalpattu. Not a single person offered to be vaccinated at Pudukkottai, however.

Poor acceptance

While on Saturday, the government had planned 160 sessions, it reduced the number to 158 on Sunday for administering Covishield. The number of beneficiaries for Covishield fell from 3,027 on Saturday to 2,847 on Sunday, whereas it increased from 99 to 183 for Covaxin, according to the data provided by the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. In the last two days, there have been 6,156 beneficiaries, officials said.

Asked about the poor acceptance, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said, “The aim is not to achieve a target. We have built the capacity for vaccination. The centres will continue to offer the vaccine to all those willing. There have been no reports of adverse reaction from the State so far.” There seemed to be some hesitation among professionals and front-line workers to take the vaccine close to the launch. Many more doses of Covishield were given than Covaxin.

Indian Medical Association national president J.A. Jayalal, who was administered the vaccine on Saturday, said the delays in communication and people’s belief that vaccination was restricted to doctors at government hospitals had slowed the process. “Private sector doctors were not aware that they were also eligible for vaccination. On Saturday, only government doctors and lower-level staff were vaccinated. Within a week, all medical fraternity will be covered,” he said.

Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association president K. Senthil expects a long queue for the vaccine in a week. “In the history of vaccines, from small pox onwards, there has rarely been reports of deaths due to vaccines. Rumours and negative messages are leading to a low vaccination turnout,” he said.

Tamil Nadu Government Nurses Association president K. Sakthivel, who will be vaccinated on Monday, said, “I tested positive for COVID-19 in July and was in the ICU. I returned to work in September. I will take the vaccine, and have told all nurses to go ahead. Only those who are willing are administered it.”

Director of Public Health T. Selvavinayagam reiterated Mr. Radhakrishnan’s statement: “This is not a race. We are aiming to protect all the 8 crore people of the State. We cannot achieve the target in a day. We have started it and will achieve it.”

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 1:16:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/vaccination-yet-to-pick-up-pace-no-takers-in-aranthangi-perambalur/article33596093.ece

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