BENGALURU: While the state is prepping to increase vaccination coverage, many hospitals point out that a number of people who have taken their first dose, haven’t returned for their second dose of vaccination. They say that hesitancy and fear of side-effects is affecting the vaccination drive. Though hospitals have vaccine stock, many have not even turned up for their first dose yet.
Dr Neha Mishra, Consultant - Infectious Diseases, Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road, said, “In our outpatient setting, we still have patients who cannot decide on taking the first dose. It might be difficult to put a number, but we come across at least one or two patients per week. Taking the vaccine should be compulsory.”
The patients are usually worried about adverse effects and long-term sequelae. Dr Jagadish Hiremath, Chairman at Acr Suhas Hospital said, “Fear of side-effects seems to be hampering the success of the vaccination drive. While healthcare experts are advising people to take a booster dose six months after the second dose, many are skipping their second dose.”
Some private hospitals say that vaccination is hampered badly. “We would inoculate over 80 individuals on weekdays and over 200 people on weekends. Now it is 30 people throughout the week. Even if we call them for vaccination, there is no response.
One reason could be the high number of government vaccination sites where it is free. Due to this, our Covaxin stock expires in November, but no one is coming forward. We had written to the Serum Institute to send our spare stock. We have sufficient Covishield stock, and are hoping people come for the second dose,” said Dr R Ravindra, Past President, Private Hospital And Nursing Association. A senior doctor from the government-run KC General Hospital said that from 800-1000 vaccinations per day, the numbers are down to 200.