Vaccine shortage hits mobile vaccination drive

Vaccination is still on in primary health centres and area hospitals

Vaccine shortage and lack of coordination between GHMC and Health Department have hit the initiative by the State government to get the city totally vaccinated against COVID-19, through intensive mobile vaccination drive.

The drive, being carried out by the Medical & Health Department in conjunction with GHMC for more than a month now, has come to an abrupt halt at several locations due to lack of vaccine supply.

Directed by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, the special drive for mass vaccination was launched on August 23, with the aim of achieving 100% vaccinated status.

As per the plan of action, teams of health workers and GHMC workers were to conduct a door to door survey of households in the given area, and enumerate the details of persons requiring vaccination.

The unvaccinated persons were to be encouraged to get their vaccine by approaching the mobile vaccination centre in the area. Each team constituted at circle level had been given the target of 1,000 households per day. Certificates were being given to the colonies where 100% vaccination was completed.

The drive was carried out well for the first couple of weeks, with majority of the targeted 4,846 colonies declared 100% vaccinated. However, there were several people left out of the drive, due to various reasons, including vaccine hesitancy.

“We could vaccinate up to 90% of the people, though several are still left out. A few families went out of the city, locking their homes. Some others could not be vaccinated as they had been infected just before the drive was taken up. We are in the process of a mop up drive, when the vaccine supply has started to dwindle,” shared an official.

Vaccine arrivals have hit an impasse for the past two weeks, another official said, vouching that the past two days have not seen any. Several people visiting the vaccination centres are being returned by the officials.

However, vaccination is still on in the primary health centres and area hospitals.

“Though the government has set up additional vaccination centres as part of the drive, health staff remain the same, whether it is PHCs or mobile centres,” another official said, indicating staff shortage.

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