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Delhi to work the phones, avoid empty slots | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: As the massive Covid-19 vaccination drive began on Saturday, out of the 8,117 healthcare workers targeted to be inoculated on day one, only 4,319 or 53.2% of the beneficiaries turned up at the 81 designated centres. Measures are now under way to improve the tally from Monday onwards, which would include counselling and a communication outreach programme, reports Sidhartha Roy.
“The vaccination exercise involves giving information to registered beneficiaries through SMS via Co-WIN digital platform. However, many hospitals had informed their registered healthcare workers through calls too,” a Delhi government official said. “Now, we are planning to call healthcare workers at least two day in advance and in case it appears they are hesitant to take the vaccine, we would call people in the next batch so that resources are used in optimum fashion and 100 beneficiaries are administered vaccine,” he said.
Clearing doubts part of vaccine drive, says doc
A Delhi government official said those who stayed away, will now have to wait for their turn but they would be called to understand their apprehensions, which would also help in firming up a communication strategy.
Health minister Satyendar Jain said while the vaccination drive was successful on day one and even though some of the registered beneficiaries didn’t turn up on Saturday, no one can be coaxed to get inoculated.
“Some people decided not to turn up at the last moment. The vaccination programme is completely voluntary. We cannot ask anyone that they have to take the shot even if the person has registered for it,” he said. “Vaccination in the entire county has been around 50% and it has been the same in Delhi. The trend is across the country and it is the same reason everywhere,” he told reporters on Sunday, without elaborating on the likely reasons. He said that experts have said that the vaccines are safe and the Centre has also given permission after rigorous checks.
“We are all humans and everybody has the right to analyse whether they want to get vaccinated and take which vaccine. We are not forcing anybody,” Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital’s Medical director Dr BL Sherwal said. “Apprehensions are bound to happen and individuals have to take a call. All hospitals will need to talk to their healthcare workers regularly and clear their doubts, which is part of the drive,” he said, adding that even around 50% turnout on first day is an encouraging number.
Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of LNJP Hospital, said that the vaccination drive on day one was smooth and similar arrangements would be provided on Monday. He said the hospital would talk to those who stayed away on the first day.
“Compared with government-run hospitals, the turnout at private hospitals was better and one reason for it is also the layout of the facility,” one government official reasoned. “For instance, Max in Saket has an enclosed campus and it saw 100 out of 100 vaccinations. On the other hand, LNJP has a sprawling campus with an amalgamation of buildings. It could be a reason that many turned away at the last moment and the hospital saw 32 beneficiaries getting vaccinated,” he added.


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