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Vaccine doses fewer than required: Officials

The state has registered the names of a little over 6 lakh health-care workers for vaccination and needs 12 lakh doses
A policeman clears the way as trucks carrying Covid-19 vaccine doses leave the airport around 2.30pm on Tuesday.

Subhajoy Roy   |   Calcutta   |   Published 13.01.21, 05:08 AM

The Covid-19 vaccination is set to start across Bengal at 9am on Saturday but senior government officials said the number of Covishield doses the state received on Tuesday was far fewer compared with the number of health-care workers.

The state has registered the names of a little over 6 lakh health-care workers for vaccination and needs 12 lakh doses. On Tuesday, Bengal received 6.89 lakh doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, health department officials said.

There was no clarity on when the remaining doses will arrive.

“We will be able to vaccinate about 3 lakh health-care workers with the doses we have received. We have registered about 6 lakh health-care workers for the vaccination. Usually, about 10 per cent of the doses of any vaccine go to waste. Since this is a two-dose vaccine, only about 3 lakh people can be inoculated by the 6.89 lakh doses,” an official said.

The first consignment that reached Calcutta from the Serum Institute of India in Pune, which is manufacturing Covishield, contained nearly 10 lakh doses. Of that, around 3 lakh are for the northeastern states.

The official said the state government would talk to the Centre about the remaining doses.

The health workers who will get the jab on the first day will get a text message by Friday. The message will mention the venue and the date of vaccination and when they have to reach the site.

“The beneficiaries will be selected randomly. They will receive a text message once they are selected,” said Ajay Chakraborty, the director of state health services. “The vaccination will begin at 9am and is likely to continue till 4pm.”

Health department sources said two text messages will be sent simultaneously, one to the potential recipient and the other to the in-charge of the site where he or she will get the jab.

While the message for the beneficiary will mention the time, date and venue, the one for the in-charge will have the name and other details of the recipient.


In Bengal, 353 venues have been identified for vaccination but all may not be in use on Day 1.

The health department had till Tuesday fixed eight venues in Calcutta - Calcutta Medical College, Calcutta National Medical College, RG Kar Medical College, NRS Medical College, SSKM Hospital, Chittaranjan Seva Sadan, Beleghata ID Hospital and BC Roy Children Hospital.

An official in the health department said they were trying to increase the number of venues.

Each venue will have multiple vaccination sites. Indranil Biswas, the medical superintendent of Calcutta Medical College, said they were prepared to run five sites.

According to the Centre’s guidelines, 100 people will be vaccinated at each site every day. No one whose name is not registered on Co-Win, a digital platform created for the Covid-19 vaccination, will get a jab.

The recipients have to show their identity documents at the gate. In the first room, their credentials will be checked once more. From there they will enter the vaccination room one at a time.

After the vaccine is administered, a recipient has to wait in the third room for 30 minutes. The vaccination team will check whether the recipients are having any adverse effect during the period.

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