Visakhapatnam: Youth ready to get jabbed
- Fearing an upsurge in daily caseload, many are now willing to get immunised
- Experts say that Covid-19 vaccination should be ramped up
- Regardless of age, there is a growing demand for vaccination in recent past
Visakhapatnam: Despite the Union Health Ministry making it clear that the ongoing vaccination drive is meant for the people aged over 45 years, those above 25 years are also seen getting jabbed at vaccination session centres in the city.
With the second wave of Covid-19 ringing alarm bells, people have become panicky and the demand for vaccination to all, irrespective of age, mounts. Owing to shortage of vaccine doses, the Health Ministry ruled out the possibility of covering all under the ongoing inoculation drive.
As there is a rise in the number of younger persons getting infected with the virus, the demand for Covid-19 vaccination has gone up among the youth. "Even at my workplace, two persons tested positive for the virus. Since they were asymptomatic and came to office till the day they isolated themselves at home, I decided to get jabbed immediately," confides a 28-year-old professional.
Sharing details about the beneficiaries, Director of Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) K Satya Varaprasad clarifies, "As per the guidelines, the high-risk groups such as healthcare, frontline workers and senior citizens were covered and now it is open for persons above 45 years of age. Once unsealed, the vaccination vials should be used within four to five hours wherein each box contains 10-20 doses of vials, depending on the company. In order to prevent wastage of vaccine doses, the vials will not be opened unless there is a pooling up of minimum 10 beneficiaries for the jab at the session site." In some hospitals, however, the management maintains that vaccine is administered to people who book a slot irrespective of their age in order to avoid wastage.
Fearing being infected by the dreaded virus, the younger groups are taking the shot. As a result, vaccine stocks get exhausted in no time, depriving the target group of their dose.
From the initial vaccine hesitancy, the situation at vaccination session sites now paints a different picture. "We waited for almost an hour to get ourselves vaccinated after booking our slots. When our turn came, the vaccines got exhausted and we had to wait until the hospital staff pooled 10 beneficiaries at a stretch," recalls G Nirmala, a senior citizen, who got inoculated a few days back.
Meanwhile, immunisation experts define the stage quite crucial and lay emphasis on ramping up of Covid-19 inoculation as they see no point in denying vaccines for the younger age groups. "Vaccination should be open to all above 18 years of age as it helps in building herd immunity against Covid-19," they reiterate.