NEW DELHI: Lack of awareness and ongoing examinations in schools were the main reasons for a low turnout on the first day of the vaccination drive for the 12-14 age group in the city. According to government data, a total of 3,767 children in the age-group were administered the first dose on Wednesday.
While some of the schools were not even aware of the drive starting, others said they received the information late and hence could not inform the parents in time. Vaccination officers deployed at the centres said they are hoping the pace of the drive to pick up over the weekend when the schools are closed.
One vaccination in-charge at a government school in Dilshad Garden said, "The parents who accompanied the children told us that they got to know about the vaccination drive this morning itself, which is why they came rushing after the first half of the day."
Meanwhile, the medical officer at a school in Mayur Vihar Phase 1 said that since examinations are still going on, only students who did not have to appear could come. However, health officials said, "The drive will smoothen in the next 3 to 5 days with regards to availability of school children after exams and percolation of messages to all."
Besides, there were complaints about the software integration as well. The CoWIN portal was not updated till late evening on the day of the second round of vaccination.
Another major issue with the vaccination was that each vial has 20 doses and in order to avoid wastage, 20 children must be present at a time, so that doses can be administered within opening hours. Some students were sent back home as the adequate number of students were not present for the vaccination.
Riya Srivastava (10), said "I'm very excited to get vaccinated and go out with my friends without the fear of catching COVID-19." Rajiv Srivastava, father of Riya, said "I am concerned about the after effects of the dose. We adults have already gone through this so we know how it affects our health."
Ranjana Awasthi, mother Namika who is a 6th class student at Arwachi Public School said, "The government is doing a great job. Our children are exposed to the outside world, they share lunch together, but this drive brings a relief to us."
Late information leads to low numbers
While some of the schools were not even aware of the drive starting today, others said they received the information on Tuesday evening and hence could not inform the parents in time. Officials said they were hoping the pace of the drive to pick up over the weekend.
(With inputs from Priyanshi Sharma and Prerna Jain)