Tirupati: Seniors show the way in allaying vaccine fears

A senior citizen is taking Covid vaccine on Saturday in Tirupati
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 A senior citizen is taking Covid vaccine on Saturday in Tirupati

Highlights

  • The overall vaccination percentages are gradually picking up
  • While the meagre response from healthcare and frontline workers has created apprehensions about the success of vaccination drive, the good response from above 60 and 45-59 age group is raising hopes about the programme meeting its targets

Tirupati: Dr N Appa Rao, an 87 year old doctor who is being considered as the Bheeshma of Indian Medical Association(IMA) went to a Covid vaccination centre here a couple of days back to receive his first dose of Covishield. He called upon all the eligible beneficiaries to take the shots as it is their responsibility.

He recalled that 99 per cent of vaccine recipients have not reported any major discomfort nor there were any deaths. People should shed all misconceptions and apprehensions about vaccine as it is absolutely safe.

On the first day of vaccination scheduled for senior citizens, another 82-year-old man also took his shot in Tirupati. These are only a few in that particular age bracket among the several others who have queued up at the vaccination centres in the past six days.

This response was more than anticipated from the senior citizens and those in the age group of 45-59 having comorbid conditions, after witnessing a lukewarm response from the healthcare and frontline workers though they have been given priority over others during the first two phases. Particularly, the healthcare workers have shown much reluctance for vaccination expressing their fears.

Out of 1.79 crore people who have been vaccinated so far, 3.97 lakh are in Andhra Pradesh. From the vaccination average of 30 per cent in the initial days, it has now gone up to about 65 per cent in Chittoor district. The efforts of officials in making the employees of various departments take vaccines have yielded some results with which the overall district percentage has picked up.

About 83 per cent of identified healthcare workers have been vaccinated till now while it is 86 per cent for panchayat raj and revenue departments. This is followed by RPF – 75 per cent, police 54 per cent and municipal staff – 43 per cent, said the district immunisation officer Dr C Hanumantha Rao.

He told The Hans India that on Friday itself 2,979 people were vaccinated in the district out of which 480 are above 60 years and 120 are in the 45-59 age group. He said that the senior citizens percentage has been picking up each day.

A 55-yr old recipient who took the vaccine on Saturday commented, "No doubt vaccine is safe but not coronavirus especially for people like me having co-morbidities. The government can never recommend any vaccine at the cost of people's lives".

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