With few people above 60 turning up for the Covid booster dose, many private hospitals are planning to take the jabs to people.
But healthcare workers and elderly people coming down with Covid in increasing numbers is proving to be a major hindrance, the hospitals said.
The administration of the preventive or booster dose to those above 60 started on January 10 across the country. Senior citizens are eligible for the third dose if they have completed 39 weeks or nine months after the second dose.
Most hospitals said that till now they had only a few people turning up for the booster vaccination. One reason could be the fear of getting infected by the coronavirus amid the current surge, officials of several healthcare units said.
So, some of the hospitals are trying to revamp their vaccine outreach programmes by setting up camps at residential complexes as well as tying up with corporate houses.
AMRI Hospitals has approached around 80 corporate houses and residential complexes for the outreach programme.
“We are expecting replies from them soon,” said an official of the group.
He said around 250 recipients, including those between 15 and 18 and above 60, were turning up for vaccination at its units in Dhakuria, Mukundapur and Salt Lake daily.
The daily vaccination count would touch 6,000 when off-site and on-site administration of jabs was done a few months ago.
The Narayana Health group, too, is planning tie-ups with residential complexes because of the poor footfall. The group’s hospital at Mukundapur, the RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, is having barely 30 people every day for the booster dose.
However, the group’s efforts to tie up have not yielded much results.
“We have tied up with two big residential complexes. However, we need to have around 100 vaccine recipients at a camp to make it viable for us. At several complexes, the number is still much less because many are yet to complete their nine-month period or are infected by Covid,” said R. Venkatesh, regional director, east, Narayana Health.
Peerless Hospital, too, is having low vaccination footfall. Since January 10, only around 30 people above 60 have turned up for the booster dose. “We are unable to organise outreach camps because many of our healthcare workers are in isolation as they have been infected by Covid,” said Sudipta Mitra, chief executive of Peerless Hospital.