After poor response, IMA bats for spot jabs, Health News, ET HealthWorld


Large-scale vaccine hesitancy has put a spoke in the state’s inoculation campaign, even as the Union health secretary said on Tuesday that Goa is among the ten worst states and Union territories that have vaccinated less than 25% of their frontline workers.

Dr Vinayak Buvaji, president of the Indian medical association, Goa, has suggested that on-the-spot entry be provided on production of identification. However, other doctors have stated that this would lead to chaos at vaccination sites.

They also said they wouldn’t be able to verify the frontline workers and healthcare workers showing up.

“Pre-registration is a must, and ensures that the vaccine is systematically given. Only once more people take the vaccine will the hesitancy go away,” a private doctor said.

Even in the first phase — healthcare workers — Goa fared poorly, with it featuring in the list of 11 states and Union territories in which less than 60% got the jab.

Both healthcare and frontline workers can get the jab at any health centre within their district where vaccinations are on, but even with this, only a trickle of beneficiaries show up. “The fears related to the vaccine are real, but these can easily be clarified by a health professional,” said nodal officer for vaccination at Hospicio, Margao, Dr Ira Almeida.

So far, Goa has vaccinated 24.2% of its frontline workers and 56.8% of its healthcare staff.

Meanwhile, several sessions have been held to motivate workers and clear their doubts and apprehensions. Such programmes have been organised for collectorate staff, police and municipality workers, among others.

Vaccination for healthcare workers is expected to end on Thursday.

Healthcare workers who joined after November haven’t been able to add their names on the CoWin portal. Similarly, several healthcare workers from private hospitals who submitted names late weren’t able to get vaccinated, as the portal froze registrations for healthcare workers.

The IMA-Goa’s past president, Dr Shekhar Salkhar, said that the vaccination drive must be carried out on a war footing and not in the manner it is being done currently, with very few showing up to receive the jab. “Vaccination should be open not only to healthcare workers but to anyone who wants to take it, so that manpower, resources and vaccines don’t get wasted,” he said

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