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Just 1/4th of listed health workers get shot in Punjab

January 17, 2021 05:14 AM


Just 1/4th of listed health workers get shot in Punjab
Mandeep Kaur Narula

Amritsar : Only 1,327 (23%) of the 5,900 health workers, who were scheduled to get Covid-19 vaccine shots in Punjab on the first day of the nationwide immunisation drive, were inoculated at 59 locations on Saturday.

As per the state health department’s plan, 100 health beneficiaries were identified to be vaccinated at each vaccine site. But in the absence of listed health workers, many registered beneficiaries voluntarily showed up at the hospitals and got themselves vaccinated prior to their turn.

State Covid-19 nodal officer Dr Rajesh Bhaskar said, “The app developed a technical glitch on Friday due to which messages could not be sent to many identified health workers in Punjab. As a result of this, health workers got confused and missed their turn. Also, the formal inauguration ceremony of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh started a bit late.”

But no glitch was reported in Co-Win app during the vaccination process on Saturday.

“We also came to know that many health workers in Punjab were reluctant to get initial doses of vaccines adopting a wait-and-watch policy. No incident of adverse effects was reported after the immunisation in Punjab and all the 1,327 beneficiaries are healthy. Vaccine is absolutely safe and health workers must come forward to get the jabs. Also, we are not pressurising any health worker to get the vaccine administered,” Dr Bhaskar added.

About a doctor at the Amritsar civil hospital reportedly starting shivering minutes after taking the vaccine shot, Dr Bhaskar claimed, “Each health worker was kept in observation for half an hour and the Amritsar doctor may have got shivers due to psychological impact.”

In Punjab, the health workers will now get vaccinated for four days a week. All the 59 vaccine sites will remain open from 9am to 5pm on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“A review meeting has been planned with senior health department officials and district teams on Sunday to find out the problems faced,” said Dr Bhaskar.

In Moga,vaccination doses were given at two sites. Only 25 of the 200 health workers listed for the first day were vaccinated in the district.In Jalandhar, 136 healthcare workers got vaccinated at three session sites. in Sangrur, 50 shots were administered at three sites. Dr DK Singh, executive director of AIIMS, Bathinda, was the person in the district to get Covid-19 vaccine shot on Saturday.

‘Register on the Co-Win app for 2nd phase’

The state health department has asked other front-line warriors to register on the Centre’s Co-Win app to be part of the second phase.

Police personnel, members of para-military forces, sanitation staff, municipal corporation and revenue department employees and other government employees, who were part of the front-line workforce, can register and will be given prioritised vaccine in the second phase.

Thirteen categories of health care workers, including MBBS doctors, Ayush practitioners, nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists and ANMs, dentists, paramedical staff, scientists and research staff, support staff, dietary staff, sanitation workers, ambulance drivers, and clerical and administrative staff of hospitals are included in the first phase.

“Punjab wants to vaccinate 1.6 lakh health workers, in a week starting from January 16. We have started the registration of other front-line workers,” said Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, adding that there was no word from the Centre on including media persons in the second phase.

(Inputs from Bathinda, Jalandhar, Sangrur and Moga)

Capt kickstarts drive in state

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday rolled out the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the state as part of the launch of the nationwide inoculation drive with five health care workers getting the jab in his presence.

The drive will cover 1.74 lakh health care workers in Punjab in the first phase. The CM said, “Vaccines were taken by many prominent personalities around the world, including UK’s Queen Elizabeth who is 93 and her husband who is 99, without any side-effects.

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