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Poor response to vaccination drive in city; software glitches stall process in 3 hospitals

According to the PMC Health department, 184 healthcare workers were administered vaccines on Wednesday, with the maximum of 55 at Rajiv Gandhi Hospital and the minimum of eight at Sutar Hospital.

Written by Ajay Jadhav , Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
January 21, 2021 2:31:50 am
National Immunisation Day, UT health department, National Health Mission, chandigarh, Pulse Polio, Chandigarh Health Department, Dr Amandeep Kang, Health and Family Welfare, chandigarh news, indian expressAs many as 41,887 children were immunised on the first day of the Pulse Polio National Immunisation Day (NID) round on Sunday.(Representational)

The vaccination drive against Covid-19 in Pune city continued to see a poor response on Wednesday, with only 184 healthcare workers taking the first dose of the vaccine.

The PMC had decided to vaccinate 100 beneficiaries on every vaccination day at each of the eight centres in the city — four government and four private hospitals, respectively. However, only five of the eight centres have been able to conduct the drive on the second and third vaccination days due to technical problems in the Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) app.

According to the PMC Health department, 184 healthcare workers were administered vaccines on Wednesday, with the maximum of 55 at Rajiv Gandhi Hospital and the minimum of eight at Sutar Hospital. The PMC has started two separate sessions at Kamla Nehru Hospital to cover more health workers, but only 31 and 21 beneficiaries, respectively, availed the free vaccine at the centre on Wednesday. The state government-run B J Medical college vaccinated 30 health workers.

The number of health workers being vaccinated has been steadily falling in the city. On Tuesday, the second day of Covid-19 vaccination in Maharashtra, 213 healthcare workers were vaccinated while on the first day of vaccine rollout, January 16, 438 healthcare workers had taken the dose.

The vaccination process could not be resumed at three city hospitals — Deenanath Mangeshkar, Noble and Bharati — for the second day in a row despite as many as 9,000 health care workers listed as vaccine beneficiaries here.

There have been technical glitches with the CoWIN app and health officials have been struggling with the slow pace. It is taking a lot of time to upload data on the government-developed digital platform.

Meanwhile, at the Ruby Hall Clinic, authorities said they got the list of vaccine beneficiaries at 10 am on Wednesday.

“By that time, several doctors were engaged in OPD work or had left the hospital and hence to manage their time, as per the sessions allotted, was challenging,” Dr Manisha Karmarkar, chief operating officer of Ruby Hall Clinic, told The Indian Express.

“People also have to be mentally prepared to take the vaccine. There are others who are willing to take the vaccine and hence on the spot registrations on the CoWIN app should be allowed,” Dr Karmarkar said, adding that they have a list of 3,500 health workers to be vaccinated. On Wednesday, only 39 people were vaccinated at Ruby Hall Clinic.

Authorities at other hospitals said they had prepared their own lists and were capable of performing more than 100 vaccinations daily. Dr H K Sale, executive director at Noble Hospital, said the site could not be opened. With Thursday being a ‘rest day’, they are hoping that the problem is resolved soon.

Dr Ashish Bharati, chief medical officer at the Pune Municipal Corporation, admitted that session sites could not be created across these three hospitals and the system has to stabilise first.

Dr Archana Patil, Director of Health, Maharashtra, told The Indian Express that the system will be fully functional in a couple of days. “We really need to wait for a few days so that the system works well and vaccinations can be carried out smoothly,” said Dr Patil.

The vaccine is being administered in two doses with a minimum gap of four weeks. The PMC is currently administering the first dose to healthcare workers, free of cost and on priority basis, as per the guidelines of the Union government.

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