Only 37% of 3 crore health, frontline workers fully vaccinated, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Only 37% of 3 crore health, frontline workers fully vaccinatedNEW DELHI: Vaccination coverage against Covid-19 among health and frontline workers continues to lag far behind the estimated target of 3 crore with only around 37% fully vaccinated so far, whereas an additional around 91 lakh have got only the first dose.

The coverage remains poor, considering vaccination began on January 16 with health workers, followed by frontline workers, with only 2.36 crore health and frontline workers registered for vaccination, even though states and UTs were asked to pre-populate this category. If the number of registered health and frontline workers is considered, the coverage of those fully vaccinated rises to 47%, which is still less than half.

Officials said many states had not been able to mobilise this priority population, resulting in slow pace of vaccination during the initial phase.

Though many well-known doctors and public figures came forward to endorse the vaccines after an intensive awareness drive about safety and efficacy of vaccines by the health ministry, there were still some who remained hesitant and did not come forward for their shots. Some might have assumed they had antibodies since they had not developed infections, an official said. “There is absolutely no justification for vaccine hesitancy among health workers. If a healthcare worker has vaccine hesitancy, it will be very difficult to recommend vaccination to society at large and there should be some consequences if this category does not get itself vaccinated,” Manipal Hospitals chairman Dr Sudarshan Ballal said.

Overall, 12.26 crore doses were administered till 7 am on Sunday. Over 10.8 lakh people between 45 and 60 and 38.9 lakh above 60 have been fully vaccinated with two doses.

Currently, eight states account for 59.5% of the total doses given so far. Maharashtra (1,21,39,453), Uttar Pradesh (1,07,12,739), Rajasthan (1,06,98,771) and Gujarat (1,03,37,448) have so far administered more than 1 crore doses each. However, in terms of share of their population, the coverage has been low in many of these states despite the surge in new cases. Maharashtra and UP have not done not well in coverage of the over-60 population.