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Only a few state-run hubs administering Covaxin

Covid: Private hospitals get list of government-run vaccination centres

People who took their first shot are calling up the health centres every day asking when they would get their second dose

Subhajoy Roy Calcutta Published 08.05.21, 01:23 AM
A letter sent to the heads of private Covid vaccination centres on Friday had a list of 173 government-run vaccination centres.

A letter sent to the heads of private Covid vaccination centres on Friday had a list of 173 government-run vaccination centres. File photo

The state government has provided private hospitals with a list of government-run Covid vaccination centres in the city where they can send recipients of Covid vaccines who have taken their first dose at their units and are awaiting the second.

A letter sent to the heads of private Covid vaccination centres on Friday had a list of 173 government-run vaccination centres.

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Thousands of people who took their first Covid shot at private hospitals are calling up the hospitals every day asking when they would get their second dose.

All private hospitals stopped Covid vaccination on May 1, the day the new vaccination policy of the Centre took effect. In the new system, private hospitals have to procure vaccine doses directly from manufacturers.

Only two private healthcare units — Woodlands Hospital and Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals — have since resumed Covid vaccination.

Till April, private hospitals used to procure doses from the state government.

The government-run vaccination centres in the state are now mostly administering the second dose. Only a few first doses are being administered.

“We have received a list of government-run Covid vaccination centres. We will pass on the list to anyone who calls us to enquire when they will get their second dose. There are 8,000 people who received their first dose at the RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences and are now awaiting their second dose. We received hundreds of calls from such people every day,” said R. Venkatesh, regional head, Narayana Health, which runs the RN Tagore hospital.

Around 2,500 people are due to take their second dose at Peerless Hospital, 20,000 people at Medica Superspecialty Hospital and 24,000 people at the three units of AMRI Hospitals.

At a meeting with some private hospitals later on Friday, senior officials of the state health department said they would soon prepare a list tagging a few government-run Covid vaccination centres to each private hospital.

The hospitals can send second dose recipients to any of the tagged government-run centres.

“Once we get the shorter list of tagged centres, we will WhatsApp it to people who took their first dose at our hospital. The government has promised to provide the second list in two to three days,” said an official of a private hospital.

Thousands across the city are at a loss whether they would be able to get the second dose at all. The government-run centres have their own sets of recipients, who got their first doses at these centres. Potential recipients are queuing up outside government centres from early in the morning.

The situation is more complicated for those who took Covaxin as their first dose. Only a handful of government-run centres – including the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, SSKM Hospital, MR Bangur Hospital, NRS Medical College and Hospital, RG Kar Medical College and Hospital and the Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital – are administering Covaxin.

None of the 145 vaccination centres run by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation is administering Covaxin.

Sudipta Mitra, the chief executive of Peerless Hospital, said he was disappointed that the hospital would have to ask people who got their first dose there to go other places for the second jab.

“This is like failing on our commitment. Many of those who took the first dose at our hospitals have been visiting our hospital for check-ups for years,” said Mitra.

Barring Woodlands and Apollo, no Covid vaccination centre in the city has yet started giving the jab to people in the 18-44 age group.

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