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Recipients avoiding Covaxin, Health dept to launch awareness drive

Kolkata: At a time when several health workers and the doctors are hesitant to take Covaxin shots for having required to sign a consent form, the state Health department is planning to conduct an awareness drive. The campaign will focus on convincing the health workers that the signing of the consent form has nothing to do with the vaccine's efficacy.

Such reluctance among health workers has slowed down the inoculation drive in the state to a certain extent. Awareness campaign may be carried out in each district to expedite inoculation drive. There is no issue with Covishield.

A senior health official said the Health department has been failing to meet the target. Many of those who are supposed to receive Covaxin are not turning up at the vaccination centres on time. "Many of the health workers are avoiding Covaxin. Even some doctors who were supposed to receive the shots failed to turn up. The signing of a consent form has triggered unnecessary fear. They are even avoiding phone calls from the Health department. When the doctors are skeptical, it is little difficult to convince the health workers," the senior health official said.

Last Wednesday when the Covaxin was launched in Bengal, only 45 health workers turned up to receive the shots while many others did not come. Around 20 people can be given shots from each vial. Once a vial is opened, there must be 20 people available. There were instances, where some potential recipients had to wait as the total number of people assembling at the vaccination site were much less than 20.

State Health department on the first day administered Covaxin on Director of Medical Education, Dr Debasis Bhattacherjee, Mission Director Dr Saumitra Mohon and Programme Officer NHM Smita Sukla. Dr Jyotirmay

Pal, HOD medicine Dept, R G Kar medical College and Dr Rina Ghosh, a renowned Pediatrician of Institute of Child Health were among the first few recipients of Covaxin from SSKM and R G Kar Medical College on Friday.

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