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Negligence in getting second shot is not a good sign: Experts
Despite the positivity rate in the district hovering around one percent, experts warn that the possibility of the third wave of infections cannot be ruled out.
Visakhapatnam: Despite the positivity rate in the district hovering around one percent, experts warn that the possibility of the third wave of infections cannot be ruled out.
Complacency towards adhering to safety protocols, the onset of festive season, easing of restrictions at tourist spots and other frequented places like Beach Road are some of the factors cited by experts that have a larger scope for impeding the maintenance of the current positivity rate.
Besides, some of those who received the first jab are not keen on getting their second dose. The delay in getting the second shot done concerns the health officials as they say that it eventually slows down the process of achieving herd immunity.
Notwithstanding the registration of the lower number of fresh infections in recent past, experts, however, warn that the possibility of the third wave of infections cannot be completely ruled out. And that the prevention and control strategies are largely dependent on a few significant aspects.
According to director of Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) K Rambabu, a section of people are under the impression that the first dose of inoculation is more than enough. "Once the first dose of vaccine is received, some believe that they will not get infected with coronavirus. This certainly poses a risk. People should consider taking both the doses of the vaccine seriously so that the herd immunity can be achieved," Dr Rambabu explains.
The reasons for the delay or negligence in getting the second dose of vaccine appear to be plenty. They include rush at vaccination centres, absence of setting priorities and the current statistics that show a lower number of fresh corona infections.
When it comes to rural regions, distance in reaching the vaccination centre and lack of awareness seem to be the major factors that delay the process of getting inoculated. Keeping the current situation in view, the district administration is accelerating the vaccination programme across Visakhapatnam by initiating special camps. The recent launch of mobile vaccination vehicles 'Tika Express', vaccination camps at shandies, intensified awareness programmes and door-to-door vaccination drive are some of the endeavours the district machinery has embarked upon.
The Tika Express will ply along the routes of Araku, Paderu and Chintapalli. "The vehicles will be utilised to reach out to the senior citizens located in interior parts of the high-risk zones and Agency areas so that eligible persons who could not trek long distances to access vaccination centres can also be covered. The vehicles will also be utilised to take up door-to-door vaccination programme in tribal regions," says A Mallikarjuna, District Collector. Recruitment of staff for the vaccination drive through Tika Express has been completed. Even if there is a scope for the possible third wave, Mallikarjuna exudes confidence that the district machinery is totally prepared in terms of increased bed capacity, oxygen generating plants, recruitment of the staff along with facilitating additional paediatric wards.
Though the preparation for the next wave of infections is carried out in full swing, the health officials stress on Covid appropriate behaviour among people plays a crucial role.