Chandigarh, January 16
The response to the booster dose has failed to gather pace among healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs) as only 6 to 7 per cent beneficiaries of this category have availed of the booster dose, also known as the precaution dose against Covid-19.
One of the factors behind the slow response to the booster dose among healthcare workers is that many have turned Covid positive recently in the third wave and will not be eligible for the booster shot for the next three to six months. Around 1,200 health workers from the PGI have tested positive in the third wave. Dr Suman Singh, Director, Health Services, said, “This is one of the factors why healthcare workers have not turned up for the booster dose as many contracted the infection recently. Other healthcare workers are on reliever duties.”
The booster dose for senior citizens, healthcare workers and frontline workers was started on January 10. As per the UT estimate, around 15,600 beneficiaries would require the booster shot as they are above 60 years and have comorbidities. Besides, there are 26,237 HCWs and 22,438 FLWs in Chandigarh.
On the contrary, more elderly people have been inoculated with the booster dose in comparison to the other category. Till now, 15 per cent of the elderly (2,358) have received the third dose of the vaccine, while only 7.5 per cent of health workers (1,990) and 6 per cent frontline workers (1,525) have turned up for the booster dose.
The Director, GMCH, Sector 32, Dr Jasbinder Kaur, said, “The response to the vaccine is more among children between 15 and 18 years of age. Although HCWs are taking the booster shot, the number is not very high. The pace will gradually pick up.”
To avail of the booster dose, there should be a gap of nine months from the second dose of the vaccine. UT Health Secretary Yashpal Garg said, “The target population of 60 plus has been calculated with an assumption that only 20 per cent are co-morbid. However, the target population of HCWs and FLWs has been taken in full without any discounting factor. Hence for a better comparison of the booster dose coverage of HCWs and FLWs with the 60 plus, we should take only 20 per cent of the 60 plus coverage. It means that 15 per cent coverage of the 60 plus target population is actually 3 per cent of the total population of 60 plus. Actually, the coverage of HCWs and FLWs is better than the 60 plus in terms of the total population.”
57% teens jabbed
Chandigarh has jabbed 41,203 children in the age group of 15 to 18 with the first dose of Covaxin, which translates into 57.23 per cent turnout for the shot. The Administration aims at inoculating all children by the end of this month. There is a target of 72,000 children in this age group
Meanwhile, 98 per cent of the target population has been vaccinated with the two doses of Covishield in the city. The UT has administered over 70,000 doses in the week ending January 14 and over one lakh doses in the week prior to that.
Factor behind slow pace
One of the factors behind the slow response to the booster dose among HCWs is that many have turned positive recently and will not be eligible for the booster shot for the next three to six months.
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