The Covid vaccination numbers that had jumped following a renewed panic in late December have gone down again. Several hospitals which were planning to order fresh stocks have deferred their purchase.
There was a sudden surge in Covid vaccination, particularly the precautionary or third dose, after December 22, when the Union health ministry had issued an advisory asking the state governments to be prepared for a fresh rise in cases.
The advisory followed a sharp spike in Covid cases in China and a few other countries.
However, the number of new Covid cases in West Bengal continues to be below 10. On Tuesday, the state recorded eight new Covid cases, according to the state health department.
The number of Covid vaccinations in the state had gone up after the advisory. According to the health department, on December 24, 3,088 Covid vaccine doses were administered.
On Tuesday, only 1,091 doses were administered.
Several private hospitals said the sudden surge in vaccination has died down.
Peerless Hospital had administered 151 Covid shots on December 28. But on Monday and Tuesday, only five and eight doses were administered, officials of the hospital said.
“Seeing the rise in demand, we were talking with the manufacturers to purchase 1,000 doses of Covishield. But the doses will expire in March. Since the demand has drastically fallen again, we have put the purchase on hold,” said Sudipta Mitra, chief executive of Peerless Hospital. The hospital still has 1,000 Covishield doses, he said.
Ruby General Hospital, too, had expected the vaccination to go up rapidly.
“The daily vaccination count went up from zero to 30 after December 22. We were expecting it to go up to between 50 and 100 but it did not,” said Subhasish Datta, chief general manager of the hospital.
“We will place orders for fresh stocks only if the vaccine demand goes up,” said Datta. The hospital has more than 400 doses of Covishield.
The RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences was receiving many calls enquiring about Covid shots after the December 22 advisory was issued.
“But there are no more queries. So we are not placing any order for vaccines,” said R. Venkatesh, COO, east and south, Narayana Health, which runs the RN Tagore hospital. The hospital had stopped vaccination for several months now because of lack of demand.
Public health experts said the rise in vaccination is directly proportionate to the panic. Since, the numbers had not gone up till now, the vaccination footfall has again gone down.