Even though, on an average, only 48% of the targeted health workers have come forward to take the coronavirus vaccine shot in Chandigarh, the wastage of doses stands at just 4.7%, half the permissible limit of 10%.
Till February 2, 433 vials of Covishield vaccine, with each containing 10 doses, have been used. Of the total 4,330 doses, only 202 have gone waste, majorly due to non-availability of the targeted beneficiaries.
“The vaccine coverage is as important for us as preventing the wastage of doses. We have trained and instructed the vaccinators that the vials once opened should be utilised properly. The Union health ministry has set 10% as the permissible limit, but we have been able to keep it under 5%. As the sphere of targeted groups will increase, the chances of wastage will become lower,” said Dr VK Nagpal, joint director, UT health department.
Officials said the vial is opened only after around six to seven beneficiaries arrive at the vaccination site, and special attention is given in the evening hours, when the chances of doses going waste are higher.
Around 11,475 health workers are to be inoculated in Chandigarh, of whom around 4,000 have received their first shot so far.
Top officials receive jab as second phase begins
The health department on Wednesday started the second phase of vaccination drive to cover frontline workers from other departments, including police and municipal corporation. However, the response remained lukewarm.
Of the 150 targeted, only 66 (44%), including 38 police personnel, turned up. Meanwhile, among health workers, 314 (31%) of the 1,004 targeted received the jab.
While cops are being vaccinated at the Police Hospital in Sector 26, municipal employees got the dose at the government hospital in Sector 16, with MC commissioner KK Yadav being the first.
After getting vaccinated, director general of police Sanjay Baniwal urged people to come forward. “It’s human to fear the unknown, but there is no need to fear. We will win against Covid-19,” he said. The first dose was given to assistant sub-inspector Rajani, who said: “Now I feel safe.”
In the neighbouring Mohali district, too, senior administrative and police officials were vaccinated. They included senior superintendent of police Satinder Singh and additional deputy commissioners Aashika Jain and Rajiv Gupta.
Deputy commissioner Girish Dayalan said the second phase of the drive is for 8,621 pre-registered frontline warriors in the district, and 54 have been vaccinated on the first day.
“It was a painless and satisfactory experience with no adverse effects after vaccination,” said the SSP.