People awaiting second dose face ‘humiliation’ at jab centres

With no stock, field staff are ‘rude’ with people coming for the Covaxin

People waiting for the second does of Covaxin are facing uncertainty in Chittoor district. Their fears have been further increased with the daily tally of COVID positive cases on Saturday at 2,768, the highest figure since March last year.

With no stocks of Covaxin doses in Chittoor since a week, hundreds of people awaiting the second dose are rushing to vaccination centres at the community health centres, primary health centres and village and ward secretariats everyday, but in vain.

COVID Task Force officials deplored that a big misconception was prevailing among the people that “Covaxin is more powerful and effective than Covishield, and that’s why the high demand for the former, leading to its non-availability.” People in the rural areas are apparently worried that “if the second dose of the vaccine is not given within a month, the first dose taken would be futile”.

A senior medical officer lamented that there was absolutely no coordination among the various wings of the COVID Task Force at the vaccination centres. “Instead of reassuring those coming for the second dose and educating them about the jab schedule, some field staff are rude with the visitors, and further heightening their worries by misinforming them that the vaccines are not available,” the official said.

Key staff at the vaccination centres in Chittoor observed that in view of confusion among the people over the second dose, they were doing their best to inform the situation to the nodal officers. “We are not able to contact the senior official responsible for the vaccination drive since three days and his mobile remains continuously switched off though he is on duty,” a medical officer in the immunisation wing said.

Kesav Singh of Jendaman Street in Chittoor town said that like him hundreds of others awaiting the second dose of Covaxin were made to return from the vaccination centre without proper answer or clarification from the staff.

A government official nearing his retirement age and on second dose schedule said the people coming either for the first dose or second dose are facing a sort of embarrassment with the coarse handling of things by staff at the vaccination centres.

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