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Inoculation drive on fast lane as West Bengal crosses 2.5 lakh-a-day target

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 In a major boost to the Covid vaccination programme, more than 2.5 lakh doses were administered on Monday across the state. With 2,70,532 people taking the jab at 2,903 sites, it was the highest single-day turnout in Bengal so far. With the initial hiccups in Co-Win 2.0 easing up gradually, the state health department officials are hopeful of achieving stiffer targets in the coming weeks.
The state had achieved the first milestone of administering 1 lakh doses a day on February 24, when 1,00,174 recipients took the shot. The number started swelling up after the phase III rollout began on March 1, when people over 60 and those above 45 years and with co-morbidities were included in the inoculation programme.

Inoculation drive on fast lane as West Bengal crosses 2.5 lakh-a-day target

TNN | Mar 17, 2021, 04.51 AM ISTKOLKATA: In a major boost to the Covid vaccination programme, more than 2.5 lakh doses were administered on Monday across the state. With 2,70,532 people taking the jab at 2,903 sites, it was the highest single-day turnout in Bengal so far. With the initial hiccups in Co-Win 2.0 easing up gradually, the state health department officials are hopeful of achieving stiffer targets in the coming weeks.
The state had achieved the first milestone of administering 1 lakh doses a day on February 24, when 1,00,174 recipients took the shot. The number started swelling up after the phase III rollout began on March 1, when people over 60 and those above 45 years and with co-morbidities were included in the inoculation programme.

“On Monday, when we recorded over 2.5 lakh doses, a little over 1.5 lakh elderly citizens and 44,537 in the 45-plus category took the jab,” said Ajay Chakraborty, state director for health services.

TimesView

The numbers are impressive. The focus should now be on getting on board as many different sections as possible so that the drive becomes truly inclusive.

In contrast to the vaccine hesitancy even among healthcare workers when the first phase rollout began on January 16, senior citizens had been thronging Covid-19 vaccination centres (CVCs) from Day 1. Though the number of people above 45 with co-morbidities turning up for the vaccine was not encouraging in the first couple of days, their number is picking up significantly. The overwhelming response even led to some hospitals starting 24X7 vaccination facility centres.

“With the pandemic threatening to come back, it is good to see the response from the elderly population and those with co-morbidities to get themselves inoculated. Many of them are being motivated by their doctors. While the response has been impressive from the informed section of the population, we also need to see that people from the less-informed section are also motivated to take the vaccine,” said Santanu Tripathi, a senior clinical trial expert and former head of clinical and experimental pharmacology at School of Tropical Medicine.

Bolstered by the surging turnout, the health department will be scaling up the number of vaccination sites. The department has already extended the vaccination hours while some centres have been allowed to operate round the clock.

“During the first phases, we had a little over 1,000 sites. Now we have more than double of that. In fact, we have the capacity to jack up the number to 5,000 and the manpower to administer doses to 5 lakh people a day. But due to the technical hitches in the software, we could not scale up the site numbers immediately. Now that the system is functioning better, we will be in a position to improve our record,” said a health department official.

Source: Times of India

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