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Low turnout for Covid booster dose, doctors warn against missing shot

The Centre had allowed the precaution dose from January 10 for high-risk people

Subhajoy Roy | Published 08.06.22, 07:09 AM
Civic officials feel the vaccination numbers might shoot up again as many parts of India are witnessing a rise in daily infections.

Civic officials feel the vaccination numbers might shoot up again as many parts of India are witnessing a rise in daily infections.

Representational picture

Covid vaccination centres in the city are witnessing a low turnout for booster doses, officials running the centres have said.

The scene has been the same at the centres run by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation as well as private hospitals.

Public health experts said people should take their booster doses as soon as they become eligible. “The booster shot will reduce chances of infection,” a doctor said.

Civic officials feel the vaccination numbers might shoot up again as many parts of India are witnessing a rise in daily infections.

While over 7 lakh people — aged above 60 — took their second doses from clinics of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), only 2.73 lakh have taken their booster doses yet.

According to KMC officials, 92,000 of these people had been vaccinated with Covaxin. Only 31,774 of them have taken their booster shots. The rest have been vaccinated with Covishield.

“Less than half of those in the 60 and above age group who took their second doses from our clinics have taken the booster dose. One reason for this could be that some people are yet not eligible for the booster dose, but the still number should not be so less,” said a KMC official.

The KMC is administering only about 2,000 shots a day from over 150 centres in the city. Which means on an average 16 persons are being vaccinated from each centre every day.

R. Venkatesh, regional director, east and south, Narayana Health, which runs the RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, said only about 75 people were being vaccinated daily at the hospital.

Only about 50 shots are being administered at the three units of AMRI Hospitals daily, said Rupak Barua, chief executive officer of AMRI Hospitals.

The Centre had allowed the precaution dose — also called booster dose — from January 10 for the high-risk people, which included health workers, frontline workers and those who are 60 years or older.

The booster doses were subsequently allowed to all adults from April 10. But those who are below 60 have to pay for the dose and take it at a private centre.

“We have noticed that whenever there is a drop in Covid numbers, the number of vaccinations drops, too. There was a rise in the vaccination numbers in January, when the third wave hit the city,” said a KMC official.

Covid numbers in the state have crept up over the last fortnight with the daily new infections crossing 50 thrice in the last seven days.

Last updated on 08.06.22, 07:09 AM
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