Five days into the nationwide drive — which saw the first phase being rolled out for healthcare workers in the frontline of Covid duty — and the dilemma whether to take the Covaxin jab has left beneficiaries in a fix.
In none of the six cities, where Covaxin was made available, that TOI surveyed, did the percentage of healthcare workers going for the Covaxin shot reach 50%. Till Tuesday evening, Patna and Jaipur had clocked the highest of 49% while Mumbai and Delhi were at 31% and 33% respectively.
Hospitals administering the vaccine have reported a higher percentage of beneficiaries taking the Covishield shot (see graphic).
“There is some hesitancy. We have seen some outright refusals too. However, what has equally contributed to the low acceptability are the glitches in the Co-Win application. We have not been able to intimate beneficiaries on time,” said Dr Lalit Sankhe, nodal officer for Covaxin at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital, the only centre in Mumbai with Covaxin.
In Delhi, doctors have reported a “little higher hesitancy for Covaxin due to lack of efficacy data.” Covaxin is being administered in six central government-run hospitals in Delhi whereas Covishield is being given in all state-run and private hospitals. This has led to confusion and dissatisfaction among healthcare workers
“Several doctors and PG students are not ready to take Covaxin as the third trial of this vaccine is in its initial stage. At least, the efficacy rate of Covishield is around 70% after its final trial,” said Dr Vinay Kumar, a senior resident at the AIIMS-Patna.
In Pune, an official of the district hospital in Aundh said there was a general feeling among healthcare workers that they were being used as “guinea pigs”.
“There are reports of anaphylactic reactions. I have decided to wait and I have also asked my junior doctors to wait,” said a senior gynecologist based in Chennai.
(With inputs from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Patna, Jaipur and Pune)
Full report on www.toi.in