— Public fear reflect health workers poor response
— Urgent need to vaccinate high risk groups: Govt
Dimapur, March 6: As Nagaland continues to receive poor response to the Covid-19 vaccination drive, the State Health & Family Welfare Department has insisted on the urgent need for vaccinating high risk groups – senior citizens and those with comorbidities.
As on March 5, Nagaland has administered only 41,835 doses of Covishield vaccine since January 16 when the vaccination drive began. Out of the 41,835 doses, 5,975 were given 2nd dose; so in effect only 35,860 persons have been vaccinated in the State.
To dispel public fear of the vaccine, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and some of his Ministers and Advisors have also taken the Covid vaccine on March 3.
On March 1, Nagaland began vaccination for senior citizens (60 years & above) and those with comorbidities (above 45 years). But till March 5, only 800 senior citizens have got vaccinated while only 82 in 45-59 years of age with comorbidities got inoculated.
But the poor response is not just from the senior citizens and those with comorbidities. In fact, the response from health workers is much worse towards the Covid vaccination drive. Since January 16, only 10,492 healthcare workers have got vaccinated, out of which again only 5,975 have taken the 2nd dose (as on March 5). So it is also quite possible that the poor response from the public (senior citizens, etc) is a reflection of the apprehension of those working in the medical field – health workers – on the reliability and safety of the Covid vaccine.
There are also concerns that the poor response to the vaccine might have resulted in vaccine wastage, although Government authorities are yet to report any such wastage so far.
As per reports, in Covishield, the vaccine used in Nagaland, each vial contains 10 doses. The vial (10 doses) need to be used up within four hours once opened, if not it is wasted.
In its weekly Covid-19 bulletin, the State Health & Family Welfare Department said senior citizens (60 years & above) and those with comorbidities between 45-59 years of age have been prioritized for the vaccine as they are at the highest risk of infection, severe disease, or death. It reminded that 84% of Covid-19 deaths in the State have associated comorbidities.
The department highlighted that the State data on COVID-19 deaths indicate Hypertension, Diabetes, Chronic Kidney/ liver diseases as the most common associated diseases with COVID-19 deaths in Nagaland.
“The high risk needs to be protected as early as possible. The earlier the vaccine, the safer is the individual,” it insisted.
On some states in India seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases for the last two weeks, the bulletin maintained that complacency around COVID-19 appropriate behaviors and other relaxations of public health and social measures are responsible for the current surge.
“As COVID-19 fatigue makes it difficult for citizens to adhere to COVID-19 appropriate behaviors, it is critical to ensure precautions are taken in high-risk settings. Schools, colleges, places of worship, offices, restaurants, any social gatherings, shops and markets should ensure all SOPs are in place to avoid any super spreader event,” it said.
Meanwhile the bulletin informed that 12 Covid-19 cases were detected last week (Feb 27 to March 5), out of which 3 are traced contacts/self-test, and 9 from armed forces/security. (Page News Service)