Trust deficit or lack of motivation? Cold response to vaccination Phase 2

Meanwhile, authorities have commenced administration of the second dose of vaccine for health workers.

Published: 16th February 2021 05:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2021 05:46 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Only 22.7 per cent of the one lakh-plus frontline workers — who registered for the second phase of Covid vaccination drive — has undergone the immunisation process in the state as of Sunday, forcing health authorities to jack up registration numbers and bring more beneficiaries to the session sites. Meanwhile, authorities have commenced administration of the second dose of vaccine for health workers.

According to sources, the introduction of the still under-trial Covaxin, as against the Covishield administered to health workers, has triggered widespread hesitation among frontline workers to take the jab. As many as 1,32,491 frontline workers in the state have registered for phase-II of the drive. In Ernakulam, which recorded the lowest rate of vaccination, only 11.31 per cent of the total 16,371 beneficiaries was administered the vaccine. 

“One of the issues identified for the cold response is the lack of effort by department heads to mobilise and motivate their staff. Also, the long waiting period at session sites could be deterring some people. It is requisite that at least 20 beneficiaries be present at the centre before the day’s programme begins.

This is because each unit has around 20 vials of vaccine and it’s not safe to keep them unsealed for long periods. So, those who arrive early have to wait for all 20 people to reach the site,” said an official.

In addition, irked by the state replacing Covishield with Covaxin for frontline workers, staff associations have demanded proof for the efficacy of the latter, say sources. According to officials, registration at the panchayat level is especially low. More than 90 per cent of sanitation workers and field staff in panchayats are yet to register for vaccination.

“Registration of thousands are pending. There are around 28,000 Haritha Karma Sena and many other field staff who have to be registered,” Director of Panchayats P K Jayashree told TNIE, adding that all of the official staff have been registered. 

“To register, we have to call the workers to their respective panchayat offices and enter their data in the website. We only got three days for the process and it was impossible to include everyone. As we needed the latest version of Windows for this, which is not available in many panchayat offices, many of us were using our personal devices. Once registration reopens, we will complete the data entry,” Jayashree said. Many workers are also hesitant to register because of the apprehensions surrounding Covaxin, she said.


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