THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The District Medical Office (DMO) and the Government Medical College Hospital here are at loggerheads with the latter refusing to grant permission for setting up Covid-19 vaccination centre at the hospital. As per the registered data with the DMO, there are around 55,000 healthcare staff in the district who are eligible for the first phase of vaccination. The district medical office has initially planned one of the vaccination centres at MCH, which has around 7,000 to 8,000 healthcare workers. With the MCH authorities refusing to set up the Centre, the MCH staff will have to go to KIMS or Pangappara PHC to take the shot.
An official of the DMO said the MCH is not very keen in setting up the vaccination centre despite the request. “There are around 10,000 health care workers and frontline workers at MCH. Unfortunately, they are not showing any willingness to set up the vaccination centre. We hope they will give in to the pressure in the coming days and set up the centre as it will facilitate thousands of health care workers,” the official said.
The state government is launching the phase I of the vaccination drive in Kerala on January 16. Twelve vaccination centres have been allotted for Thiruvananthapuram district. “During the launch, only 11 centres would be there. Once we start rolling out vaccination for the public, more centres would be opened. There would be centres at all medical care institutions having more than 100 healthcare staff,” the official said.
A senior official of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital told TNIE that we are not there in the list of the vaccination centres as they don’t have the logistics and resources to spare for the same. “For setting up a vaccination centre we would require multiple rooms and also would require separate entry and exit areas. We are already burdened as we are catering to both Covid-19 and non-covid patients and if we spare this space it would put additional pressure on both the medical staff and the patients. As patient care would also get compromised. Hence we have communicated with the authorities urging them to spare us if other options are there for setting up the facility,” said the official.
An official of the MCH said the hospital is not interested in setting up a permanent vaccination centre. “If there is a vaccination centre at MCH everybody will come here which would lead to overcrowding. We are struggling to cater to the growing needs of Covid and non-covid patients,” said the official.
Gokulam Medical College, KIMS and NIMS are the three private sector institutions where the vaccination centres are coming up. Nedumangad Taluk Hospital, Pangapara PHC, Varkala Taluk Hospital, Parassala Taluk Hospital, Vithura Taluk Hosptial, Poozhanad primary health centre, Manamboor community healthcare centre are the vaccination centres coming up in Thiruvananthapuram district.
“In the first phase of administering the vaccine will cover health care workers. After that priority would be given to frontline workers and then we will cover the elderly above 50 years, followed by individuals below 50 years of age with comorbidities. Only after that we will begin the drive for the general pool,” said a senior official of the district medical office. Meanwhile, a section of the health care workers has expressed unwillingness to take the vaccination, giving fresh challenges for the authorities.
Vaccination centres in Thiruvananthapuram
Sree Gokulam MCH and Research Foundation; Nedumangadu District Hospital; Parassala Taluk Hospital; Vithura Taluk Hospital; Manamboor CHC; District Ayurveda Hosptial, Varkala ; Thycaud Women and Children Hospital ; KIMS Hospital; NIMS Medicity; Poozhanad PHC; Pangappara PHC