Now that the second dose vaccination is under process in Vizag, it is difficult for first dose beneficiaries to get their vaccine. Individuals above 45 years in the city who are to get their first dose of vaccine are still worried. At the time when the government had urged everyone to take their first dose of Covaxin/Covishield at their nearby Primary Health Centres (PHC), many eligible beneficiaries did not take their first dose, either because they were tensed about the crowd or they postponed to do it later. For those individuals, now the situation has become tough as the officials have decided to take up only the second dose of vaccine till May 31.
The number of positive cases in Vizag reached 1,618 on Monday, taking the total to 99,437. Reporting at least 1,600 cases every day in the city, that was the time when people above 45 years of age voluntarily went to the centres, waited long hours in queue lines and took their first dose. When the time came for the beneficiaries to take their second dose, there was a lack of sufficient doses. People started rushing to the centres for their doses, during which many of them got infected with Covid-19. To avoid such disturbances at the vaccination centres every morning, The District Health and Medical Officials (DMHO) decided to give provision for the first dose of vaccine till May 31.
As per the data available, so far, till May, around 6,35,950 doses of vaccine have been administered to people in Vizag, which includes 4,89,723 first dose and 1,46,227 second dose beneficiaries. Now that the preference is given to second dose beneficiaries, first dose beneficiaries who are trying to book slots are unable to get a slot at the earliest. “At the time when it was announced that the first dose of vaccine was available, we didn’t want to go to the centres, looking at the crowd every day. And waiting long hours for a token in the hot sun was another hectic thing for us at this age. Now that the first dose vaccine is not available, we are worried about when we would get it. There are also no slots available till July while trying to register through Arogya Setu App,” said Rajeswari, resident of PM Palem.
Meanwhile, there were many eligible beneficiaries who neglected their first dose of vaccine in view of the fact that even if one got vaccinated, there were still chances of contracting Covid-19. While a few others waited for a specific brand of vaccine, listening to rumours. Though there are cases seen with Covid-19 affected for those who got their first and second dose, Doctors have clarified that after being administered the vaccine, there would not be much severity of Covid-19 on the patient affected. “When we were told by our children to get our first dose, we purposely did not want to worry about side effects and Covid effects even after taking a dose. But now that we are witnessing the situation in Vizag, it is better to get the vaccine at the earliest to avoid severity if affected,” said Sarswathi, resident of Kirlampudi Layout.
It is being said the first dose beneficiaries are to be administered vaccines from June and they can book slots online from May 31. “There would be on-the-spot registration. All pre-booked slots till May 31 will be cancelled,” said an official.
Meanwhile, officials of DMHO are administering second dose vaccines in a disciplined manner by communicating through an SMS/call to the beneficiaries. Only those beneficiaries are told to come to the centre on the given date.
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