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Amid vaccine hesitancy, Amritsar points to shortage delaying second dose delivery

Asked how many people are waiting for second dose due to shortage of Covaxin vaccine in state, Covid nodal officer for Punjab, Rajesh Bhaskar, said, "Don't have this data ready at the moment."

Health Department personnel conducting Covid-19 tests at the head office of the SGPC in Amritsar on Friday, (Express Photo by RANA SIMRANJIT SINGH)

Punjab is facing a shortage of Covaxin in several districts, sources said, adding that many are now waiting for their second dose of the vaccine.

Amritsar’s District Immunization Officer (DIO), Arvind Manchanda, said: “There is shortage of Covaxin. We have not received supply for second dose of Covaxin. Around 12,000 had got first dose of Covaxin in the district, which was mostly supplied to private hospitals. Some hospitals may have preserved half of their stock for second dose. But we are not sure about how many people are waiting for second dose.

This situation exists across the state in all districts. Amritsar is not alone. We may get supply in a day or two.”

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Asked how many people are waiting for second dose due to shortage of Covaxin vaccine in state, Covid nodal officer for Punjab, Rajesh Bhaskar, said, “Don’t have this data ready at the moment.”

Meanwhile, with 3,278 active cases, Amritsar is at second place when it comes to the Covid-19 cases in the state. The district registered 11 deaths on Wednesday taking total death toll to 785.

Amritsar has only met 29% of the total target given for last week for vaccination, while Pathankot achieved 102%.

Amritsar vaccinated more than 6,000 persons daily against target of 22,286 and finished at the 13th place, whereas Pathankot remained on top by vaccinating 4,762 persons daily against target of 4,643.

Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Jalandhar retained top three positions in achieving vaccination target, where as Fathegarh Sahib, Mansa and Ferozepur were last three districts in achieving targets.

“Amritsar has around six lakh population above 45 year of age. We have vaccinated around 1,25,000 people in district. Where as Pathankot has around 2.50 lakh population eligible for vaccination out of which 90,000 are already vaccinated.”

DIO, Amritsar, said, “Around 6% of registered people are not coming to take vaccination for some reasons. Today, we have vaccinated around
5,000. People above 60 years of age are more hesitant. They express fears about imagined side-affects of vaccination. Whereas people of age between 45 to 60 are eager to take vaccination shot. We have established 300 centers for vaccination. But it is true that response is not as expected. Nobody can say that I have no centre near my home. We are even reaching people’s door steps.”

On why some private hospitals have stopped giving Covid-19 vaccination shots to people, he said, “All private hospitals are not taking all the sessions for vaccination. There are different reasons for that. They would open vials only if they have 10 persons in line to get vaccination. Sometimes private hospitals do not open vials when they don’t have required number of vaccination receivers.

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