Vaccination centres across public and private hospitals have seen an overwhelming response from senior citizens, most of them hailing from the informed section of society are well-off. Those from lesser affluent backgrounds, however, are yet to come forward to take the Covid-19 vaccine even though it is being administered free of cost from government-run centres.
“Around 75% of senior citizens and those above 45 with co-morbidities taking the shot in our hospital are those who otherwise would have sought medical care in a private hospital. We are seeing very few of those who otherwise prefer government hospital for treatment coming forward for the jab,” said vaccination co-ordinator of a state-run medical college.
Even as there is no specific data on the socio-economical background of those being inoculated, those supervising and manning vaccination centres said it was quite evident from the profile of recipients lining up.
“In the first few days, almost 100% of those who came to take the vaccine were from that informed population. But gradually, we are coming across a few recipients from the less privileged background,” said a source at another government hospital.
Healthcare experts said concerns like digital registration, lack of information, the on-going election meetings/rallies where many from the particular section tend to take part could be some of the reasons for staying away from the vaccination programme.
“Even people from the less privileged background are equally vulnerable to the infection. The government in its part should make an effort to drive this point to this section of society that they need to take the vaccine and that they will get it free of cost. They just have to go and register themselves on the spot,” said a senior doctor of a government hospital.
All government vaccination centres now have a desk to facilitate spot registration of senior citizens.
State director of health Ajay Chakraborty agreed that due to the awareness about the vaccine in media, the more informed people are taking the lead in taking the vaccine. “It is but obvious that the informed people will be the ones to come forward to take the vaccine. But even people from the lower-middle class background are now taking the vaccine and their number is picking up as well,” said Chakraborty.
Source: Times of India