Vaccination crunch, but Punjab ignores priority groups

Vaccination crunch, but Punjab ignores priority groups

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11

Vying to be number one in vaccination coverage, various district administrations in Punjab are learnt to be flouting age norms.

40 lakh given jab so far

  • Around 7 lakh healthcare and frontline workers have been given the first dose and over 2 lakh the second
  • 25 lakh beneficiaries in the 45-plus category have been given the first dose and 2.5 lakh the second
  • Around 40 lakh have been administered vaccine in Punjab so far

Though the state government has not yet allowed vaccination for the general public in the 18 to 45 age group, several people in this category are being inoculated out of turn across Punjab. A reality check found that the practice was more rampant in Mohali, Gurdaspur, Mansa and Bathinda districts. The authorities in these districts are reportedly vaccinating those below the age of 45 years after showing them as “frontline workers”. The Mohali district administration even organised special camps where beneficiaries were inoculated irrespective of their age, said sources.

Dr Adarshpal Kaur, Civil Surgeon, Mohali, maintained that they were only vaccinating eligible groups or those qualified as frontline workers by the district administration.

Despite the Centre opening vaccination for the 18 to 45 age group from May 1, the Punjab Government had deferred inoculation in this category till it “had sufficient stock”. It had said it would first vaccinate those in the 45-plus category, besides the frontline and healthcare workers. Significantly, Punjab has been facing a shortage of doses even as the fatalities have been mounting. The number of doses administered weekly has been continuously declining.

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