Booster dose drive begins today, most health workers already Covid positive in Punjab

Booster dose drive begins today, most health workers already Covid positive in Punjab

A teenager gets inoculated at the Jalandhar Civil Hospital. Malkiat Singh

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 9

Though the drive to administer “precaution” dose (booster dose) to healthcare and frontline workers would kick-off on Monday, majority of the workers have already tested positive for the virus across the state.

Can be jabbed after 3 months

The workers, who have already tested positive for the virus, can receive the third dose only after 90 days from the day of infection. — Health Department

It has been learnt that thousands of healthcare and frontline workers, who are expected to get the booster dose, are already infected and therefore, cannot receive it.

The state Health Department said those workers, who had already tested positive for the virus, could receive the third dose only after 90 days from the day of infection.

The timing of administering precaution (booster) dose is being questioned by none other than healthcare workers themselves, including senior consultants, resident doctors and officials of the department. On this, state Nodal Officer Dr Rajesh Bhasker said: “It is not our decision and the announcement regarding this was made by the Centre.”

Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on December 25, had announced the administration of the third dose of Covid vaccine from January 10.

“Had we got a permission for the booster dose a month earlier, the frontline medical workers could have been saved from the spreading infection. We had enough Covid doses at the district headquarters. I think the frontline medical workers should have been jabbed with booster dose before the third wave had set in,” said an expert of the Health Department.

Meanwhile, Patiala District Epidemiologist Dr Sumeet Singh said: “Over 50 per cent of the employees at the health institutions in Patiala have tested positive. Now, as per the protocol, we have to delay the administration of the booster dose to the infected beneficiaries.”

Tribune Shorts


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