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Panchkula vaccination drive: 19,000 jabbed, all seniors have now got the first dose

"We got the crowd we had expected. There was rush but it was manageable, since people kept trickling in throughout the day," says Dr Meenu Sasan, district immunization officer.

The drive, held at 65 centres across the district, had aimed at vaccinating 19,500 persons.

Panchkula vaccinated on a war footing as the district observed a Mega Vaccination Drive on Monday, inoculating about 19,000 persons within a single day. The district also hit another milestone as it declared that 100 per cent of its senior citizens have been administered the first dose of vaccine against Covid-19.

The drive, held at 65 centres across the district, had aimed at vaccinating 19,500 persons. “We got the crowd we had expected. There was rush but it was manageable, since people kept trickling in throughout the day,” says Dr Meenu Sasan, district immunization officer.

The vaccination camps were set up across the district, utilising the PHCs, CHCs, Dispensaries, Community Centres, Industries and Satsang Bhawans, while mobile vaccine vans were also seen in action. “There had been a lack of vaccines in the market for quite sometime. People were waiting to be vaccinated. So when we got the supplies, we decided on doing it full throttle. There was no dearth of vaccines for those wanting to be vaccinated today,” adds Dr Sasan.

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Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker and local MLA Gian Chand Gupta also inaugurated the Mega Covishield Vaccination Camp at Amartex in Industrial Area Phase-1 here on Monday for all the workers/employees and factory owners.

Ashutosh Johari, 36, a resident of Sector 21 who had come to Sector 12A to get his second dose of Covaxin, said, “It seems like a festival of vaccination. There are people lining up everywhere. I had first gone to Sector 25 dispensary but realised there was a bit of rush. Instead of making me wait, they told me where all vaccinations are available nearby and I headed here since this was the centre I got my first vaccine at.”

The district had received a huge shipment of vaccines last week, following which the authorities had planned vaccination drive.

“We made several teams and sought help from NGOs. Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan came forward. Each team deployed at each centre had only one doctor and a vaccinator. All other tasks including registration, technical work, clerical work et al were undertaken by volunteers helping us,” told Dr Sasan.

While the district had a stock of 38,000 doses of Covishield and 6,500 doses of Covaxin, the drive has now left the district with 22,000 doses of Covishield and 3,700 doses of Covaxin.

Preference for vaccine from govt sectors

During the drive, people’s preference for getting jabbed at government units rather than private centres was evident. “Earlier people were taking jabs in huge numbers from private sectors but I think the current price is too high for them. Today as well, only 139 persons took the jab from private hospital. A complete opposite phenomenon had been witnessed in the district when doses were cheaper in private sectors. I guess the amount of Rs 780 too is high for citizens and thus, they are opting for vaccines from us,” says Dr Sasan.

100% senior citizens jabbed with first dose

The Panchkula health department said that all 55,000 senior citizens of the district, as estimated by the department, have received their first dose. The department said that the administration has in fact jabbed more than 55,000 senior citizens amounting to 100.2 per cent of senior citizens getting the first dose.

However, with Panchkula being a part of the Tricity, many from Mohali and Chandigarh also trickled in to get vaccinated here. Dr Sasan says, “Definitely some from other districts have too been vaccinated here but then people from here also took the vaccines in Chandigarh. We feel we have vaccinated a very large chunk of our senior citizens, barring may be 3-4 per cent who have shown great vaccine reluctance.”

The department in the past few weeks had set up excessive number of camps and ran intensive IEC campaigns to raise vaccine awareness while encouraging people to be inoculated..

Most jabbed at Kalka

As many as 8,000 people were jabbed at Kalka area of Panchkula on Monday, at six centres including Pinjore, Nanakpur, Morni, Old Panchkula, Kalka as well as Surajpur.

At least 3,700 were also vaccinated in areas of Raipurrani, Barwala, Hangola and Kot.

In urban areas of Panchkula 6,100 persons were vaccinated , of which 700 were vaccinated at Amartex near the industrial area and 800 at Command hospital of Panchkula.

Atleast 35 foreign travelers were also vaccinated with the second dose of Covishield, before the time period of 84 days but after 24 days including all those who wished to abroad for studies, work or to participate in the Olympiads.

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