Lukewarm response

136 turn up for inoculation on Day 1

Of 300, less than half come forward | Former MS, anesthesiologist, also skip dose

136 turn up for inoculation on Day 1

Merely 136 turned up for vaccination on Saturday, of the 300 invited by sending messages.

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 16

The historic process of the much awaited first phase of Covid vaccination drive received a lukewarm response in the district on Saturday. Merely 136 turned up for vaccination on Saturday, of the 300 invited by sending messages. Among those who skipped included former MS Mandeep Kaur and Dr Paramjit Singh, anesthesiologist.

Of the 300 summoned,164 beneficiary health workers skipped the process on the first day. More than half of the staff stayed away from the process. Of those who skipped coming, a majority was paramedical staff. The dearth of health workers reporting to be vaccinated was also attributed to delay in the receiving of messages by some and the server of the vaccination portal being down repeatedly since last night. A majority of the listings of the health workers being vaccinated today was manually made by the health staff as the server remained down for a long time. The process was started soon after the PM’s address earlier this morning.

The three session sites were Civil Hospital, Jalandhar; Basti Gujan CHC, Jalandhar; and Sub-Divisional Hospital, Nakodar.

At the primary session centre at the Civil Hospital, 40 people out of the 100 expected had turned up until 2 pm.

On the flip side, the vaccination drive began with much enthusiasm amid several senior frontline doctors getting vaccinated amid applause and jubilation.

The first to get vaccinated was retired SMO Dr Kashmiri Lal, frontline health worker for Covid emergency care. He was followed by Dr Bhupinder and SMO medicine Dr Tarsem Lal. Former Civil Surgeon Jalandhar Dr Gurinder Kaur Chawla, nodal officer for the vaccination drive Dr Indu Bala, blood transfusion officer Dr Gagandeep Singh, anesthesia frontline staff, paramedical staff, Asha workers and Class IV health workers were vaccinated on Saturday.

At least four frontline health staff, doctors who had previously tested positive for Covid themselves, were also on the list of the workers vaccinated today. A reactive response to the Covid vaccine wasn’t reported from any of the persons vaccinated today. The vaccination drive kick started amid the supervision of Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori, Civil Surgeon Dr Balwant Singh, MS Dr Parminder and District Immunisation Officer Dr Rakesh Chopra.

Having posted in Jalandhar recently, both the Civil Surgeon and the district immunization officer aren’t yet listed among the 11,800 health workers in Jalandhar, as they were listed with districts they were previously posted at.

Dr Rakesh Chopra, District Immunisation Officer, said, “It is a great moment for us. We were waiting for this for the past one year. Server issues and apprehensions persisting among much of the health staff are partly the reasons for the limited turn up on Saturday. However, we expect a much more enthusiastic response from Monday onwards as many are expected to come in. Today was just a start of the process.”

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