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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Over 50,000 health workers vaccinated so far in Maharashtra

On Tuesday and Wednesday, several names of already vaccinated recipients were repeated in the list of those shortlisted for the vaccine jab, text messages were not sent to all those scheduled for vaccination.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: January 21, 2021 1:18:51 am
Maharashtra covid, Maharashtra covid vaccine, Maharashtra covid vaccination, Maharashtra healthcare workers, indian express newsThe government has asked everyone to strictly follow the norms of physical distancing and always wear face masks in public. Local authorities have been instructed to impose heavy penalties on people not following the rules. (Representational)

On Wednesday, Day 3 of the vaccination roll out, 18,166 recipients of the targeted 28,500 were inoculated. Till now, Maharashtra has vaccinated 51,377 health workers, reaching 60 per cent of its target for the first three days. District officials said the number of vaccine recipients can improve and the daily immunisation targets could be achieved if technical difficulties over Co-WIN app are resolved.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, several names of already vaccinated recipients were repeated in the list of those shortlisted for the vaccine jab, text messages were not sent to all those scheduled for vaccination and software lag could not create the entire list of recipients scheduled for the day.

In Mumbai, 1,728 health workers were vaccinated on Wednesday, 52 per cent of those invited turned up to get their jabs. Seven minor adverse events were recorded in Mumbai during a half-an-hour observation period. All are stable.

Co-WIN is a digital platform to record the country-wide inoculation process. “Allot beneficiary”, a new option, introduced in Co-WIN on Tuesday to allow walk-in health workers to get vaccinated if their names are in the database but not in the day’s vaccination list, has improved turnout but not lent to a huge rise in overall immunisation numbers. From 14,883 vaccinated on Tuesday, the count rose to 18,166 on Wednesday in the state.

On Tuesday, the Union health secretary wrote to all states that the new option will allow vaccination centres to utilise their maximum capacity and help walk-in health workers get vaccinated even if they have no scheduled appointment. “While walk-in facility has improved turnout, we still need to resolve several issues in Co-WIN. Today five health workers could not be vaccinated in one centre because the software stopped working midway,” a health official from Amravati said.

Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan asked all states to immediately upload data of all beneficiaries vaccinated so far. Districts have also been asked to provide

provisional certificates of first vaccine dose to recipients.

“It is not that health workers are shying away from vaccination. Most are eager but there is delay in informing them about next day’s schedule. When we call up health workers, most inform us they did not even receive the text message for vaccination date and time,” said Dr Radhakishan Pawar, district health officer in Beed.

Dr Archana Patil, director, Family welfare, Directorate of Health Services, said all these issues have been conveyed to the central government. “Each vaccinator is supposed to vaccinate 100 people a day. But in some centres, instead of 100, a list of 40 was generated today. We first need to resolve all these smaller technical problems. Turnout numbers will automatically improve after that,” she said. Officials admitted that Co-WIN had slowed the vaccination process but expect it to pick pace once the software runs smooth.

The public health department plans to rope in health minister Rajesh Tope to create short videos, encouraging health workers to step forward for inoculation.

Maharashtra vaccinated 64.3 percent health workers on the first day, and 52 percent of set targets on the second day. By the third day, on Wednesday, the percentage stood at 63.7.

There was slight improvement in the uptake for Covaxin from Tuesday — 311 health workers took the shot on Wednesday. Maharashtra has selected six sites in medical colleges and district hospitals to administer Covaxin. Surprisingly, Amravati district hospital recorded 120 recipients for covaxin on Wednesday. “We had invited 150 health workers from our hospital keeping in mind several may not turn up. But the response was very good. We crossed the target of 100 today,” said Dr Chandrashekhar Nikam, superintendent in hospital.

In JJ hospital, Mumbai, however, only 15 health workers took Covaxin and it was 16 in Aurangabad.

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