Why many people in Kollam district of Kerala have missed their second dose of Covaxin

While the Health Department maintains that there is enough stock in Kollam, there are many who could not receive the second shot within the recommended window

Several persons in Kollam district have missed the second dose of Covaxin due to the failure of certain vaccination centres in arranging schedules. While the Health Department maintains that there is enough stock, there are many who could not receive the second shot within the recommended window.

Reportedly, people are not able to get Covaxin in some places as primary health centres (PHCs) are not willing to open the 10-dose vials. "We have been trying to book a slot for the last two weeks in vain and we have also tried through the local body representative. The PHC officials said only Covishield was available and they could not arrange Covaxin due to short supply," said a resident of Pattazhy.

According to the Health Department, 9,110 doses of Covaxin and 81,780 doses of Covishield are available in Kollam district. The department has already circulated a list of persons due for the second dose to nodal officers of each centre. They have been instructed to hand over the list to ASHA workers and ward members and mobilise the targeted beneficiaries to vaccination centres.

However, beneficiaries say no one has contacted them so far despite informing the vaccination centres that they have crossed the ideal gap between doses.

Vaccine drive

Though the Kollam Corporation resumed its vaccination drive from November 7 in three centres, including the Primary Health Centre at Mundakkal, Corporation stadium and T.M. Varghese Memorial Hall, only Covishield was made available.

"Two or more PHCs can coordinate and set sessions for Covaxin second dose and we have now directed all vaccination centres to ensure that the second dose is administered. Both the vaccines are available in all centres in the district and there is no shortage," said an official.

Meanwhile, the vaccination status of the district shows that around 93% persons have taken the first dose and 54% have been administered the second. While 100% of health workers and front-line workers have received the first dose, along with 86% of senior citizens, the percentage in the 18-45 age group who have been administered the first dose is 82%. While all residents of various old-age homes have been administered the first dose, 82% persons have received the second dose.

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