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Poor response to Corbevax dose in Kolkata

Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which has the largest network of Covid vaccination centres in the city, is administering the vaccine from 17 centres

Subhajoy Roy | Published 25.07.22, 06:59 AM
Children between 12 and 14 years can take Corbevax for free from any government vaccination centre

Children between 12 and 14 years can take Corbevax for free from any government vaccination centre

File photograph

The number of children in Kolkata who have taken both doses of Corbevax is less than half of the total eligible population, civic officials said.

Children between 12 and 14 years can take Corbevax for free from any government vaccination centre. The Corbevax administration to children between 12-14 age group started on March 15. The gap between the two doses is 28 days.

The tepid response among recipients of Corbevax has surprised many civic officials who anticipated a better turnout. “We were under the impression that parents would be careful about their wards and had expected a rush at the centers administering Corbevax,” said a senior official of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s health department.

Most private hospitals in the city are not administering Corbevax.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), which has the largest network of Covid vaccination centres in the city, is administering Corbevax from 17 centres.

A KMC official said that according to an estimate, there are over 2 lakh children who are between 12 years and 14 years of age in Kolkata.

“We arrived at the estimate after finding out the percentage of children who were between 12 and 14 years, out of the total population of Kolkata in 2011,” said the official.

Kolkata's population – according to the 2011 Census – was 45,63,785. The population of Kolkata had declined by 1.67 per cent during the two successive Census of 2001 and 2011. The same rate of annual reduction in population was followed in the period between 2011 and 2022 to arrive at the total population of children in Kolkata who are between 12 and 14 years in 2022.

“If there are over 2 lakh children who are between 12 years and 14 years then 4 lakh doses will have to be administered to complete the primary vaccination. But only about 1.5 lakh Corbevax doses have been administered in Kolkata so far,” said the official.

Officials of some private hospitals said they never began Corbevax vaccination. Sudipta Mitra, the chief executive officer of Peerless Hospital, said that they never received any query about Corbevax vaccination. R. Venkatesh, the regional director of Narayana Health, the owners of the Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, said that the Mukundapur Hospital, too, never received any query about whether they were administering Corbevax. Neither of hospitals is administering Corbevax.

“We had thought that parents would be very keen to keep their wards protected from Covid and would bring them to the vaccination centers. But the response has not been good so far,” another  senior official of the KMC’s heath department said.

“It seems that the reduced severity of Covid has reduced the fear of the virus among people,” said the official.

According to the CoWin website, “Covovax vaccine is now available for children of the age group 12+ yrs in Private Vaccination Centre”. But the KMC and most private hospitals are not administering Covovax.

Last updated on 25.07.22, 06:59 AM
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