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Delay in appointing nodal officers hits Covid vaccine drive in Bengaluru

The nodal officers will be in charge of issuing eligibility certificates to those seeking vaccination.

Published: 23rd May 2021 05:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2021 05:23 AM   |  A+A-

A ‘Covaxin out of stock’ board outside a vaccination centre in Bengaluru on Saturday | Ashishkrishna H P

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Health Department’s decision to resume vaccination for the 18-44 age group belonging to certain frontline workers and priority groups from Saturday failed to kick off here as the orders appointing nodal officers for the respective categories of beneficiaries were passed only by evening.
Health officials said that the district administration will be directed to nominate nodal officers for each category in order to decentralise the process.

The nodal officers will be in charge of issuing eligibility certificates to those seeking vaccination. Among the frontline workers identified by the State Government are immediate family members of health care workers, teachers assigned to Covid-19 duties, one caretaker each for the specially-abled, cemetery/crematorium workers, government transport employees, autorickshaw and cab drivers, prisoners, employees of electricity and water boards and others.

Dr Vaishnavi, Nodal Officer (Special Officer Smart City), in charge of vaccination for street vendors, said, “On Saturday, we had a discussion on how to carry out the process. The orders appointing nodal officers came late in the evening. We have decided to set up camps to carry out the drive. This will take a day or two to streamline as more planning is required. For the unorganised sector, walk-in vaccination will be allowed.”

Meanwhile, several organisations had no clue that the government had considered them as frontline workers to vaccinate them. “Ola and Uber drivers are not aware of this. The companies did not give them any eligibility certificate. Even MNC company drivers had no idea about vaccination,” said Tanveer Pasha, president, Ola and Uber Drivers’ and Owners’ Association.

M Manjunath of Bangalore’s Adarsha Taxi Union said that he got a call from the Mahalakshmi Layout MLA asking him to prepare a list of drivers to get vaccinated on Monday. “The elected representative personally called us and informed us that the ground near Modi Hospital will be used to vaccinate us,” he said.

Meanwhile, a BBMP health official said, “Plans were being chalked out and that is why the delay. Micro-planning is being done and we will  start the drive for this category soon.” The State received 2,04,050 doses of Covishield on Saturday. The state has so far received 1,01,60,060 and 13,54,050 doses of Covishield from GoI and state procurement, respectively. In total, the state has received 1,28,24,560 doses, including 13,10,450 doses of Covaxin.



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