Close to 3.9 lakh beneficiaries have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Maharashtra since the drive began on January 16, of which 3.85 lakh are healthcare workers and the remaining, close to 4,000, are frontline workers.
Till February 4, the Covaxin shot has been administered to 4,132 healthcare workers across six centres in the state with the highest at Amravati (1,141), followed by Nagpur (999) and Pune (624).
Dr D N Patil, state immunisation officer, told The Indian Express on Thursday that the vaccination for frontline workers (from home/revenue/public transport departments) has commenced from Wednesday. Of the 3.9 lakh beneficiaries, a total of 3,925 are frontline workers, who have received the shot so far in some districts.
Covaxin is being administered at six centres in the state, including Mumbai, Solapur and Aurangabad, and accordingly, doses have been administered to beneficiaries, while plans are afoot to increase the number of vaccination centres, Dr Patil added.
“We have already increased the number of centres from 511 to 555 and will step it up further,” he said, adding that no major adverse events have been reported. Mumbai, Thane and Pune are among the top districts with a maximum number of healthcare workers getting vaccinated. To date, the total number of vaccine beneficiaries, who received the shot in the three top districts, was 41,326 in Mumbai Suburban, 37,349 in Thane and 35,823 in Pune.
A survey conducted by LocalCircles has found that there is a varying degree of enthusiasm observed among people ever since the vaccination began on January 16. “We conducted a survey last week and received over 25,000 responses from people in 289 districts of India. Despite close to five million healthcare workers getting vaccinated in two weeks, 58 per cent people remain hesitant to take the Covid-19 vaccine immediately,” said Sachin Taparia, founder of LocalCircles, which is a community social media platform enabling people and small businesses to escalate issues for policy and enforcement intervention.
“Our earlier vaccine hesitancy survey released on January 27 and indicated that 60 per cent citizens were still hesitant to the Covid-19 vaccine immediately. Vaccination hesitancy is reducing week by week with a 16 per cent drop within the last month. However, the hesitancy level of 58 per cent is still quite high and the polls in this study indicate that one way to reduce the vaccine hesitancy is leaders in central and state governments, MPs and MLAs taking the vaccine,” Taparia said.
PMC unable to begin vaccination for frontline workers
The PMC was unable to commence with the vaccination for frontline workers. Dr Ashish Bharati, PMC medical chief, said there were some technical issues and efforts were on to create additional sessions at the existing sites to accommodate frontline workers – these are mainly from departments of home, revenue, public transport, security and office-bearers at municipal corporation, who are in direct contact with the public. We have identified more than 1.5 lakh such frontline workers and will increase the present vaccination sites from 20 to 25, he said. In Pune district, 81 frontline workers were vaccinated on Thursday, said Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, Deputy Director, Pune region (Pune, Satara and Solapur districts). Of them, 64 frontline workers were vaccinated in Pune rural and 17 in PCMC areas.