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IMA wants Mamata Banerjee to decentralise Covid vaccination centres

The doctors blamed on the “stepmotherly attitude and inefficiency” of the Centre for the crisis
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
File photo

Subhajoy Roy   |   Calcutta   |   Published 09.05.21, 02:23 AM

The Bengal chapter of the country’s largest body of doctors has written to the chief minister to “decentralise” the Covid vaccination centres to alleviate the problems arising out of the current vaccine crisis.

The Bengal unit of IMA blamed on the “stepmotherly attitude and inefficiency” of the Centre for the crisis.


The letter comes at a time the pace of vaccination has slowed down because of inadequate supply. Almost all private hospitals have stopped vaccinating from May 1.

People who took their first doses of Covid vaccine from private hospitals are now struggling to get their second doses.

“Decentralisation of vaccination centres is probably an urgent need of the hour. As we all appreciate that due to stepmotherly attitude & inefficiency of Govt of India, there is a crisis of vaccine,” the letter to the chief minister said.

“But at the same time if more centres can be opened, then the huge queues, mostly of senior citizens, from early morning, in front of the existing centres can be avoided... ”

The Centre had centralised the vaccination process from the beginning, leaving little room for the states to devise their own strategy. But now that the net of people to be vaccinated has widened, the Centre has shifted the onus of procuring vaccines to the states and private hospitals, many have alleged.

On Friday, the state government sent the private hospitals a list of 173 government-run vaccination centres in the city where the private hospitals can redirect those waiting to get their second doses.

But most of these centres are in the Calcutta municipal area. This makes it difficult for those living outside the area who took their first doses in private hospitals. “Instead of asking people to go to any of the 173 centres, we tell them to go to any of five or six government vaccination centres,” said an official of a private hospital.

Most hospitals are doing the same thing.

Sudipta Mitra, the chief executive officer of Peerless Hospital, said the hospital was not giving the list immediately. “Once the shorter list is available, we will inform those who are left to take their jabs from our hospital,” said Mitra.

There were, however, questions whether the government vaccinations centres too were having enough vaccines to administer the second doses to those coming from private hospitals. “We were getting about 70 doses in the last one week to 10 days. This is happening when we have to deal with an increased demand from second doses,” said an official of a CMC-run Covid vaccination centre in Kasba.

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