BENGALURU: While the government is working aggressively on vaccinating college students and adults, the staffers at health centres — both government and private — are seeing the youth preferring Covishield over others.
At present, two vaccines are available in India — Covishield and Covaxin — while Sputnik V is likely to be commercially launched by mid-July. Staffers at primary health centres and other vaccination centres point out that though youths inquire about Sputnik, many are opting for Covishield.
The reasons for this are many — family and peer pressure, easy availability of second dose and more centres administering the Covishield vaccine. Also, many youngsters prefer Covishield over others because it is recognised by many other countries where students are pursuing higher studies.
“My parents, my sister and her colleagues have all taken Covishield, so I too decided to take it. I do not think there is anything wrong. Most people I know have taken it and so I also decided on it. I specifically waited for its availability at the vaccine centre and took the jab,” said Shilpa L, a college student.
In the case of Sakshi K, she initially waited for a long time for her turn to get a jab at the nearest PHC. When she got a slot, she got to know that it was Covaxin and opted out. She then went to a private centre to take Covishield.
“Everybody in my family has taken Covishield. I also decided to take the same,” she said. A Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike doctor at a primary health centre in Rajarajeshwari Nagar said many college students are also demanding Covishield.
“But we are administering whichever is available. We are trying to explain to people that both are good and also that Covaxin has resisitance to more variants (56) when compared to Covishield (46). Yet, the youth prefer one over the other.
We also found that earlier, when vaccination was launched, there was a large supply of Covishield and many above 45 years of age were administered that. So now youth are following the same,” the doctor said.
Another BBMP health officer said since Covishield is being administered in most government camps, its availability is also widely spread and many are finding it easy to get the jab. “As a health officer, my duty is to vaccinate as many people as possible.
If there is an option, we are giving it. But if a vial is open and a beneficiary is still preferring options, we are not considering them,” he added. Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar said that he had also heard of the same. He also admitted that there is lesser supply of Covaxin and so the demand for Covishield is more. He added that while some youths were preferring one over the other, some others were taking a totally different one.