1st dose: State completes inoculating over 90% of eligible people

kolkata: Bengal has already completed the first dose of Covid vaccination among over 90 per cent of its population above the age of 18 while over 30 per cent have received double doses.

Many people were however found across the state who have skipped second shots within the prescribed date and this has become a concern for the health officials as many of them could not be contacted while a substantial number who had received the first dose here in Bengal eventually moved out of the state. "Some people have skipped the second dose and there is nothing unusual in it. Many Central forces jawans who had come here for

election duty received the first dose here but they left the state without taking the second jab. As a result these numbers are still shown as 'overdue' in the record of the state Health department. In a similar way, many migratory workers

who had received the first

shot here later moved away. This has contributed to the rise in the number of 'overdue' cases," said the Director of Health Services (DHS) Dr Ajay Chakraborty.

There are, however, still some cases where the people have been reluctant to receive the second doses while some others could not be contacted probably because of some problems relating to their mobile numbers. Only a handful of people who had received the first jab but did not receive the second as they have fallen victim to Covid. Some people might have missed the second due to festive occasions. In case of Covishield, the second dose is administered after a gap of 84 days while in case of Covaxin the gap is only 28 days.

According to state government data, around 59,000 people in Kolkata evaded

the second shot of Covishield while around 49,000 people from the city skipped the second dose of Covaxine. In the case of North 24-Parganas

the number is around 31,000 and 51,000 respectively. In South 24-Parganas around 12,000 people avoided the second dose of Covishield

and around 24,000 people skipped the second dose of Covaxine.

"Some who had taken the first jab from various government establishments at free of cost had to stand in a long queue. Some people are thinking that double vaccination is not also full proof. Many European countries have already been administering a third dose. The efficacy level drops after six months from the date of receiving the second dose. Hence the state government must arrange a booster dose for the doctors and health workers," said Dr Manas Gumta, general secretary of Association of Health Service Doctors in the state.

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