Tribune News Service
Patiala, June 13
Though the district administration and the Health Department have been trying hard to push the vaccination drive, only a small chunk of targeted beneficiaries, including medical and non-medical frontline workers, could be fully vaccinated.
Of 3.65 lakh Covid vaccine shots administered until June 10, only around 41,000 beneficiaries could get both doses in the district.
Senior citizens are said to have responded well to the vaccination drive. According to the Health Department, around 2.10 lakh senior citizens have received the first dose. Dr Venu Goyal, district immunization officer, said: “We have been able to cover around 50 per cent of senior citizens so far. Of a total of 4.5 lakh senior citizens in the district, 2.10 lakh have received the first dose of the vaccine.”
Meanwhile, health experts blamed the shortage of vaccines for a slower pace of vaccination drive in the district, especially, in the age group of 18-44 years.
The department received the vaccine meant for the 18-44 age group on Saturday, after a gap of almost two weeks. Only 65,000 beneficiaries between 18 and 44 years of age have received their first shot of the vaccine.
The Civil Surgeon, Dr Satinder Singh, said there was a huge demand among the youngsters for the vaccine. They vaccinated 6,629 beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group on Sunday. “If we had enough vaccine, our daily vaccination count would be above 7,000. Yesterday, we received around 8,000 doses from the state pool. We are trying our best to vaccinate as many beneficiaries as we can.”
Meanwhile, health officials said they had been able to cover only around 30 per cent of the target population of 12 lakh beneficiaries in the district. The department attributed the low vaccination to a host of factors such as shortage of vaccines, increase in the gap between two shots and vaccine hesitancy among the rural population.
Though the Divisional Commissioner has made visits to villages to motivate residents for vaccination, nothing much has changed on the ground.
The Civil Surgeon, when asked about low vaccination in rural belt, said: “I will be going to villages to motivate people for vaccination. Besides, we are planning to send mobile vans for vaccination in rural areas.”
What health officials say
Health officials said they had been able to cover only around 30 per cent of the target population of 12 lakh beneficiaries in the district. The department attributed the low vaccination to a host of factors such as shortage of vaccines, increase in the gap between two shots and vaccine hesitancy among the rural population.
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