Friday, March 5

Day 4: Challenges faced so far during Covid-19 vaccination drive in India

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Roughly 50% of the people the government expected have been given doses per session in the first three days since Covid-19 vaccinations began in India on Saturday amid reports of vaccine hesitancy. Here is all you need to know about vaccination drive so far and the challenges it faces:

• Between Saturday and 5pm on Monday, 381,305 people were given doses in 7,704 sessions.

• There were no immunisations on Sunday.

• The turnout dipped from 4,319 on Saturday to 3,593 on Monday in Delhi.

• Only eight people were vaccinated on Monday at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

• Officials said concerns over the vaccines’ safety appear to have deterred many people as side-effects of the jabs were being highlighted.

• Some doctors said they were apprehensive or would not prefer Covaxin, the vaccine made by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, which has not yet been tested entirely in Phase 3 trials, and the manufacturers do not know how effective it is in preventing Covid-19.

• Recipients of Covaxin were required to sign consent sheets typically given to people participating in clinical trials.

• The Bharat Biotech vaccine has been approved under “the clinical trial route”, as per the regulators’ decision on January 3.

• The other vaccine, Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India, has proved its efficacy in human trials.

• In Uttar Pradesh, the state government issued a notice to a government hospital in Kanpur where only 40 people were given doses on Saturday. The state is carrying out immunisations only two days a week, Thursday and Friday from this week onwards

• A total of 580 cases of adverse effects following immunisation have been reported until Monday with the Centre maintaining most of them have been mild, with symptoms such as pain at the injection site, nausea and mild fever.

• Of the 580, or 0.15% of those vaccinated, seven required hospitalisations. Four of them were still hospitalised.

• Experts said that these numbers were much below the thresholds for anything that should be worrying and that the benefits outweigh the risks of immunisation.

• Some glitches were also reported in the Co-WIN mobile application that vaccinators use to create lists of who will be given doses during a particular session and record their status.

• The portal has been crashing intermittently, leading to delays.

• Some beneficiaries have complained that they did not receive any intimation about their vaccination

• Sometimes, midway through the exercise, names of beneficiaries also disappear from the portal.

• Maharashtra suspended the vaccination drive on Saturday after only less than 2,000 people were vaccinated across the state due to the glitches.