Tamil Nadu, against a target of 5.32 lakh health workers, in the first phase has only been able to vaccinate about 47 percent of the targeted population with the first dose of the vaccine.
Covid-19 vaccination drive India update: One month after the country started the Coronavirus vaccination drive for frontline and healthcare workers and after the inoculation of more than 1 crore beneficiaries, the country has observed an erratic pattern with the states having sound health infra lagging in vaccinating their residents. Several states in the country which were expected to lead the vaccination drive in fact have lagged behind many states that have comparatively less sound healthcare infrastructure, The Indian Express reported.
Among the lagging ones, seven states and Union Territories in the country have not been able to vaccinate even 50 percent of their target health workers, according to the data put out by the Union Health Ministry on Thursday. Among the seven states and UTs include the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Punjab, and the national capital Delhi.
Tamil Nadu, against a target of 5.32 lakh health workers, in the first phase has only been able to vaccinate about 47 percent of the targeted population with the first dose of the vaccine. It is pertinent to understand that the Coronavirus vaccine is being inoculated in two doses. The situation in Delhi is also similar as the government could only vaccinate about 44 percent of its targeted healthcare workers population of about 2.78 lakh. The situation is far worse in Punjab, as the northern state has only been able to cumulatively vaccinate about 38 percent of its targeted healthcare workers in the first phase of the vaccination drive.
Other smaller states and UTs which have so far not been able to breach the 50 percent targeted numbers include Ladakh(47.4%), Chandigarh(35.9%), Puducherry (27.5%) and Nagaland(36.7%). A top government source from the Union Health Ministry told The Indian Express that in several meetings conducted by the ministry, these states and UTs have been asked to boost their vaccination numbers but there has been no change so far. The official also said that from their response these governments appeared to be incompetent.
Citing the case of Chhattisgarh that has clocked the figure of vaccinating about 78 percent of its targeted health workers despite not having a sound health infra like Tamil Nadu and Delhi, the official said that the states which have planned their vaccination sessions are faring well.
Head of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Dr. J A Jayalal, who also practices in Tamil Nadu, highlighted that the low coverage in Tamil Nadu was surprising. However, he also mentioned that there is a segment of government sector healthcare nurses which is refusing to get vaccinated. He also pointed out that the number of doctors who have been vaccinated in the state is well above the expected coverage.
Punjab IMA state president Dr. Kuldeep Arora also gave a similar response when asked about the low count of vaccination in the state. Citing the example of his own hospital, Dr. Arora said that out of the 250 health workers who were supposed to be vaccinated, only 10-15 came forward to get vaccinated. He pointed out that the number was low as people are not expecting another wave of Coronavirus with some of them also apprehensive of the adverse reactions of the vaccine. He further said that the numbers in the state will jump once the vaccination drive has been opened for the general public as several senior citizens are enquiring about the vaccination sessions.