New Delhi: Fewer than 50 per cent healthcare workers received Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin at the six Central government hospitals in the national capital on the first two days of Covid-19 vaccination, showed data obtained from the hospitals and respective district officials.
Out of a target of 1,250, a total of 551 (44.08 per cent) health workers were administered the vaccine on 16 and 18 January, data showed. While 314 beneficiaries received the jab on the first day of the drive Saturday, the number fell to 237 Monday.
According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s directions, each vaccination centre is expected to meet a target of 100 shots in a day — bringing the two-day figure for the six centres to 1,200. However, one of the Centre-run hospitals, the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, confirmed to ThePrint that it was asked to vaccinate 150 people on the second day.
Of the 81 hospitals in the national capital, 75 are run by the Delhi government and private players. These have been allotted the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate Covishield, manufactured in the country by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The six central government hospitals — All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Safdarjung, RML, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital, ESI Hospital Basaidarapur, and ESI Hospital Rohini — only received Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin last week.
Status at Central govt-run hospitals
Among the six hospitals, AIIMS showed the most variation between Day One and Day Two. As opposed to 95 people who were vaccinated Saturday, only eight health workers took the vaccine Monday, showed the data.
On the first day, an adverse event was reported at AIIMS when a security guard “showed some symptoms and developed an allergy” following the vaccination. He was then hospitalised, and discharged after two days under observation, but the incident led to panic among other healthcare workers.
A member of the AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA), who didn’t wish to be named, said, “I have been sceptical about this vaccine (Covaxin) throughout but after learning about what the security guard went through, it is but natural to be hesitant.”
The AIIMS RDA as well as RML Hospital even took this up with their respective medical superintendents Saturday through a common representation they filed in view of the adverse event. ThePrint has seen the representation.
It expressed that “doctors might not turn up in huge numbers since they are not keen to get Covaxin due to concerns about efficacy”. It also requested that Covishield be made available at AIIMS.
At Safdarjung, only 20 persons were vaccinated on the second day as opposed to 72 earlier, confirmed the hospital spokesperson. ESI Hospital Basaidarapu saw only 27 healthcare workers being administered Covaxin Monday as compared to 32. At its other branch in Rohini, only 37 healthcare workers got Covaxin Monday.
However, at Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital and RML, there was an improvement in numbers on the second day.
At Kalawati, which is situated on the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) campus, 76 people were administered Covaxin Monday in comparison to 26 on the first day. Asked what helped in a higher turnout on the second day despite hesitancy among people about Covaxin, LHMC medical director Dr N.N. Mathur said, “I took the jab myself on Saturday and shared visuals of the same on social media. Perhaps these things help reassure our staff that it is safe to do so.”
At RML Hospital, 69 workers were vaccinated on Day Two out of the targeted 150, medical superintendent Dr A.K. Rana confirmed.
Lower turnout across Delhi on Day 2
Meanwhile, as many as 3,598 of the targeted 8,136 healthcare workers were vaccinated across 81 centres in the national capital Monday as opposed to 4,319 on the first day of the vaccination drive.
According to the Delhi government’s record, 26 adverse events were reported Monday, of which two were severe cases including one hospitalisation. ThePrint couldn’t independently verify more details about the particular case.
In Delhi’s South district, only 316 of a target of 900 healthcare workers were vaccinated across nine hospitals. In West, 457 of 1,100 beneficiaries were vaccinated Saturday at 11 centres. In North West district, the turnout was more than 50 per cent — 575 workers against a target of 1,100 at 11 centres.