DMO, dist admn at loggerheads over vax drive

Mass programme blamed for shortage of vaccines for elderly population in district

Published: 09th March 2021 05:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2021 05:46 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes | (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The district medical office (DMO) and the district administration are at loggerheads over the mass vaccination drive happening at Jimmy George Stadium, which is being organised by the district administration for covering polling officials with the first and second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.The district health authorities have come down on the district administration for conducting the mass vaccination drive without planning and blame the mass vaccination drive for vaccine shortage being faced by elderly population in the district.

A senior official of DMO alleged that the vaccination drive is being conducted without prioritising beneficiaries. The official alleged that in addition to polling officials many government staff who don’t fall under the priority category are getting the vaccine dose creating vaccine shortage.

“The election commission has directed only to give vaccination for polling officials and the drive was supposed to cover only them. Right now, what is happening is that a large number of people getting the vaccine dose are government officials.

We seriously doubt the purpose of the mass vaccination drive,” said an official. The official alleged that hundreds of government officials from the Secretariat, who are not part of polling, were vaccinated“They want this to be the biggest vaccination drive held in the country and the district administration wants the credit for conducting it.

Because of this, the general population is at the receiving end. We are unable to supply more vaccines to private session sites. People as young as 25 years got the vaccine from here,” said the official.

Deputy collector (Disaster management) G K Suresh Kumar said that there are nearly 30,000 polling officials in the district and in addition to this there are around 10,000 others who would be in the reserve pool. 

“The number of polling booths has gone up and the requirement of the polling officials has also doubled. We haven’t covered the entire polling officials yet. Posting orders are yet to be issued for polling officials and the process is underway and only after giving vaccination we would start issuing posting orders. That is why we included Secretariat staff for vaccination drive. Probably we may post them too for election duty,” said Suresh Kumar.


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