Vaccine comes, but worries continue

Chennai: Though the Covid-19 innoculation drive started in India late last week with much expectations, frontline workers who even braved the coronavirus are hesitant to take the vaccine.

The Union government on Monday flagged Tamilnadu and Kerala over their poor performance, in vaccinating at less than 25 per cent of the priority groups and highlighted the ‘vaccine hesitancy’ found in the frontline workers.

The lack of people volunteering to getting vaccinated is said to be because of the lack of transparency about the side effects.

A few frontline workers also said that they will get vaccinated after seeing the effects on those who are already inoculated.

A staff nurse from the Chengalpattu Government Hospital said that if the vaccines are safe, why are they not administered to the politicians.
‘What if we run short of frontline workers if things do not go as planned. I have already seen how the doctors and nursers worked overtime during the peak pandemic period. So I have decided to wait for at least two phases of the vaccination are over,’ she said.
A conservancy worker with Greater Chennai Corporation said she is scared to get the vaccine.

‘I have seen people recovering from the coronavirus. Even a member of my family contracted the virus and recovered. But I am not still sure about the effects of the vaccine. Since the government has also not made it mandatory to get vaccinated, I will wait and watch for some more time,’ she said.

Meanwhile, in a huge leap from day 1 and day 2 vaccination figures, 10,256 health workers across the State were administered the vaccines on Monday. This takes the vaccine recipients tally in the State to 16,462. This was more than half of the 17,700 targeted beneficiaries for the day. Only 6,156 people all over the State had voluntarily got vaccinated 16 and 17 January, according to a government press release.

Only 2,945 people were inoculated 16 January, against a target of 16,600.
On 17 January, many higher officials including the State Health Secretary, J Radhakrishnan got vaccinated to increase awareness among the public. The leap in the numbers is said to be to because of the returning of the frontline workers after the Pongal holidays. Many vaccine centres called the district warehouses to replenish their stock.

Directorate of Public Health Care and Preventive Medicine, Joint Director (immunisations) Dr K Vinay Kumar said that the number of people getting vaccinated increased yesterday as there was less number of adverse effects reported by the people who took the vaccination in the previous days.

He said that changes were made in vaccination protocol by allowing all willing healthcare providers – registered and unregistered – to get vaccinated when they noticed issues in the CoWin portal.

Adverse events

The Union Health Ministry has said that 580 adverse events following immunisation were reported across the country since India’s coronavirus vaccination drive began on 16 January. ‘A total of 3,81,305 beneficiaries have been vaccinated through 7,704 sessions, as per the provisional report,’ the ministry said in a statement.