June 13, 2021 2:50:22 am
WHILE AROUND seven lakh people have been administered the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Rajkot city, making it one of the top 10 districts in the state in terms of percentage of population vaccinated, the city’s east zone is lagging behind as compared to west and central zone. But civic officers say that they have plans to turn their attention to the east zone for ramping up vaccination.
Rajkot Municipal commissioner Udit Agrawal said that by Saturday, around seven lakh people had been administered the first doze of either Covishield or Covaxin and around 1.5 lakh had received their second dose.
RMC has identified 3.69 lakh people in the age group of 45 years old or older for free vaccine doses under the ongoing mass Covid-19 vaccination drive. Similarly, it has identified 6.23 lakh in the age group 18 years to 44 years for free jabs. By Thursday noon, more than 6.19 lakh people had been inoculated. They include around 2.5 lakh people in the 45-plus target population group, more than 3.10 lakh in the 18-44 group and around more than 50,000 health workers and frontline corona warriors, civic officers said.
“We have vaccinated around 70 per cent of the eligible population in 45-years-plus target group and more than 50 per cent in the 18-plus target group. The overall coverage is more than 60 per cent,” Agrawal said, adding the city has an estimated population of around 15 lakh and RMC was among the top 10 districts in the state to vaccinate so high a percentage of its eligible population.
However, data accessed by The Sunday Express shows that of the 6.19 lakh people vaccinated by Thursday noon, the west zone of the RMC accounted for 2.47 lakh of it and the central zone another 2.04 lakh. In the east zone, only 1.67 lakh people had been injected with the first doses of the vaccine. The number of those who have received their second dose also is even lower at 24,028 persons in the east zone. This figure is almost three times higher in the west zone where 65,247 people have been fully vaccinated. Even in the central zone, 46,853 individuals, almost double than the east zone, have received their second dose of the vaccine, data shows.
The skew is partly due to having comparatively less number of Covid vaccination centre (CVCs). As per the data, the RMC had set up a total 307 CVCs by Thursday noon. Of them, only 78 were in the east zone. The west had 98 centres. The central zone covers areas like Vidyanagar Main Road, Kanak Road where clusters of private hospitals are located as the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Government Hospital, popularly called Rajkot civil hospital, had 131 centres.
As per the data, as many as five CVCs in the west zone had administered more than 20,000 doses each. They include the CVC set up in Ambedkarnagar Urban Health Centre (UHC) with cumulative 28,237 doses (18,401 first doses and 9,836 second doses), Nandanvan UHC with 23,550 doses (16429 D-1, 7121 D-2), Nanamava UHC with 23,203 doses (16,275 D-1, 7018 D-2), Mavdi UHC with 22,018 doses (16.208 D-1, 5810 D-2) and Shyamnagar UHC with 21,864 (15312 D-1, 6552 D-2). These five CVCs together account for around 1.2 lakh to total 7.55 lakh total doses administered in the city till Thursday.
In comparison, in the central zone only one centre — the CVC functioning out of Red Cross in Sadar — has administered 20,000 or more doses. The Red Cross UHC has administered total 20,742 doses, including 13973 D-1 and 6769 D-2.
In east zone, the numbers are worse, with no centre having touched the figure of 20,000 doses. The top five centres are Kabirvan UHD (total 13,559 doses), IMA UHC (total 11,644 doses), Morbi Road UHC (total 11,691 doses), Kothariya UHC (total 7,332 doses), Bhagvatipara UHC (6894 doses).
But the municipal commissioner said that CVCs are set up in areas where there is demand and said they have now plans to turn their focus on the east zone. “We set up vaccination centres in areas where there is demand. West zone has more centres as that is where people are turning up to get their doses of vaccines whereas in the east zone, the response has been slow. But now, the response has started slowing down in the west zone, so we will shift the centres elsewhere. East zone will require a community mobilisation to bring people to vaccination centres and our plans are now to focus on vaccinating residents in east zone,” said Agrawal.
The city has recorded 42,478 cases of Covid-19 so far and Dr Lalit Vanja, the municipal officer of health (MoH) of RMC said besides socio-economic reasons, the disease burden is also a factor in the east zone dragging its feet in vaccination.