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Kolkata hospitals witness spurt in demand for Covid vaccine after rule tweak

A large number of people have become eligible for the Covid precaution, or booster dose, following the Centre’s announcement

Subhajoy Roy | Published 11.07.22, 06:07 AM
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Representational image

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Private hospitals in Kolkata have been witnessing a jump in the demand for Covid vaccines since the Centre’s decision on Wednesday to reduce the gap between the second and the precaution dose from nine to six months. 

On Saturday, many hospitals vaccinated twice the number of people they had vaccinated on July 2, the previous Saturday. 

The three units of AMRI Hospitals — in Dhakuria, Mukundapur and Salt Lake - together vaccinated 600 people on Saturday, around thrice the number of shots they had administered the previous Saturday.

The RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences vaccinated over 450 people on Saturday. On July 2, the hospital had administered 200 doses.

Peerless Hospital vaccinated 402 people on Saturday, up from 300 on July 2.

A large number of people have become eligible for the Covid precaution, or booster dose, following the Centre’s announcement on Wednesday.

Officials of these hospitals said the turnout for Covid shots is always higher on Saturdays compared with weekdays. 

They attributed the steep rise in the turnout to two factors — reduction in the gap between the second and the third dose and a fresh surge in Covid cases.

“We vaccinated over 450 people on Saturday. Of these people, 75 had completed six months, but not nine months, from the second dose,” said R. Venkatesh, regional director, Narayana Health, which runs the RN Tagore hospital.

The hospital had been vaccinating about 100 people a day till Tuesday. On Friday, the count shot up to 150. 

Sudipta Mitra, chief executive of Peerless Hospital, said the hospital had vaccinated 402 people on Saturday. “A good number of those people were yet to complete nine months from the second dose,” Mitra said. 

Alok Roy, chairperson of Medica Superspecialty Hospital, said they had vaccinated about 230 people on Saturday, up from about 110 the previous Saturday. The hospital was vaccinating about 100 people on weekdays.  

Rupak Barua, chief executive officer of the AMRI group, said: "Our three units vaccinated about 600 people on Saturday. The previous Saturday we had vaccinated about 200 people.”

The increase, he said, seems to be a result of the reduction in the duration between the second and third dose. “Also, people are again becoming scared because of the rise in Covid infections,” he said.  

The state reported 2,986 new Covid cases on Saturday and a positivity rate of 15.69 per cent. On Friday, 2,950 new Covid cases were reported and the positivity rate stood at 16.92 per cent.

Last updated on 11.07.22, 10:02 AM
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