Many healthcare, frontline workers yet to take first Covid vaccine jab as second phase begins soon

Reasons ranging from technical issues in the Covid portal app to the reluctance of taking a shot are slowing down vaccination in a few states
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As India’s vaccination drive continues, nearly 50 lakh frontline and healthcare workers have been given Covid-19 vaccination. According to official data, India has become the fastest country to vaccinate over a million people. However, there is still hesitation when it comes to taking the jab.

In Odisha, one lakh healthcare workers are yet to be given their first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine. Reportedly, a warning was given to healthcare workers that they would not be receiving their salaries if they do not take the shot before February 10.

Cuttack district collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani has a sent a letter to the chief district medical officer, officials of SCB Medical College and Hospital, superintendent of Sishu Bhawan and CMC Commissioner, stating that many healthcare workers are not showing up for vaccination “causing a great embarrassment”.

“As the percentage of vaccination of Cuttack district is one of the lowest in the state, it is causing a great embarrassment,” Chayani said, continuing, “Those registered under different establishments for Covid-19 vaccine should positively take the shot by February 10, failing which their salary/remuneration/stipend for the month will not be drawn. You are therefore requested to sensitize the health and Anganwadi workers to come forward for vaccination.”

As per reports, health workers are unhappy with the letter from the Cuttack district collector as the Odisha government is yet to vaccination mandatory for the chosen recipients.

However, Odisha is not the state that is facing this problem, Further south of Odisha, Kerala is also facing a similar problem. Reportedly, many health workers in many districts of Kerala, health workers are reluctant to receive the vaccination.

In Kerala, continuous problems and lack of coordination in registering on the web portal are said to be reasons for lesser health workers turning up for Covid-19 vaccination. Reports suggest that the initial plan was to complete vaccination of health workers in the state by February 5. However, out of the four-and-a-half lakh registered health workers, only 2,90,112 have been vaccinated in 21days. Reports also suggest that not even 70% vaccination per day has not been achieved in several districts of Kerala.

According to the health department, apart from the health workers' reluctance, technical issues related to registration on online portals for vaccination is continuing. It is reported, that many do not know the time or place to get the vaccine from. Reportedly, some officials have openly admitted that if private hospitals are getting the vaccine for their employees, the employees are not interested in taking the jab.

Reports also suggest that technical issues of the online portal are also affecting vaccination in Bihar. It is reported that in the CoWIN app, glitches in beneficiaries receiving SMSs and duplication of names are some of the reasons state behind Bihar's slow vaccination drive.

The next phase of vaccine distribution is to start from February 15, however, considering the technical issues and the reluctance to overtake the jab, it is unclear if all registered health care and frontline workers will taking the vaccine shot.

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