Covid vaccination: Technical glitch, absenteeism lead to slump in turnout in Visakhapatnam

A health worker getting vaccinated as a part of the first phase of the immunisation drive in Visakhapatnam
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A health worker getting vaccinated as a part of the first phase of the immunisation drive in Visakhapatnam

Highlights

  • As against the expected turnout of 12,000 beneficiaries, only over 5,890 receive the jab in the first four days at the session sites in 15 constituencies
  • The main challenges are the website issue, time taken to upload the data, glitches in operating Co-WIN App and partly due to the repetition of the beneficiaries, points out P S Surya Narayana, District Medical and Health Officer
  • However, as the number of centres will be scaled up, the turnout is likely to improve in the coming days, he says

Visakhapatnam: More than 5,890 beneficiaries received the jab in the first four days of the Covid-19 vaccination drive in Visakhapatnam.

Given the count of session sites in 15 constituencies, the health officials say that the expected turnout was 12,000 but only 46 per cent got the jabs at 32 centres across the district for the initial four days.

Though a section of the beneficiaries had to overcome a sense of anxiety before getting the first vaccine shot, it did erase gradually in the subsequent days that followed. Thanks to the strong network maintained by the beneficiaries, they shared their feedback with their family and friends.

"Earlier, we were concerned about the side-effects. But those who got their first shot of the vaccine did not share any bitter experience except mild uneasiness such as headache and dizziness in a few cases. Even that did not last longer," says Korra Suseela, an ANM, who got vaccinated. Apart from the initial apprehensions, absenteeism, extended holiday and technical glitch are some of the reasons attributed to the slump in the turnout.

"As far as side-effects are concerned, there is nothing to worry about. Less than 5 per cent of the beneficiaries complained of mild headache, fever, muscle pain and weakness post vaccination that lasted for a day or two. However, there is no adverse reaction for any person so far," explains P V Sudhakar, District Covid-19 Special Officer and Principal of Andhra Medical College.

While absenteeism constituted 20 per cent, pregnant and lactating women too were not taken into account for the jab. "But the main challenges are the website issue, time taken to upload the data, glitches in operating Co-WIN App and partly due to the repetition of the beneficiaries. Apparently, with the number of centres to be scaled up, the turnout is likely to improve in the coming days," reasons P S Surya Narayana, District Medical and Health Officer.

Close to 38,840 health workers have been registered to get the first dose of the vaccine. Though the turnout is not as expected at the moment, health officials say that the count is sure to increase steadily.

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