VIJAYAWADA: With the Centres issuing directions to states on administering Covid-19 vaccine to people aged more than 60 years and also to those aged 45 years plus with comorbidities from March 1, and even as Andhra Pradesh gets ready to take up vaccination as per the schedule, they are facing a tough task in identifying the beneficiaries.
State health authorities are awaiting guidelines from the Centre on taking up vaccination for these two categories of people. Though there is an option to register on CoWIN app to undergo vaccination, it remains to be seen as to how many aged persons are able to download such an app on their smartphones and use it. With regard to the 45 years plus people having multiple health complications, they are supposed to get a certificate from their doctor about the kind of health problems they are facing to become eligible for the vaccination.
Health sources maintain that nearly 60 to 70 per cent of healthcare workers underwent both the first and second dose of Covid-19 vaccine as a good number of them, including doctors, avoided undergoing vaccination for varied reasons, including the fear of health complications and also due to death of two such workers after vaccination.
At present, the frontline warriors, including police personnel, are undergoing the first dose of vaccination.
Health authorities admit that there is no readily available data on the beneficiaries and they may have to rely on details mentioned in Aadhar cards or any other document, especially with regard to their age.
Meanwhile, the state health authorities are planning to take up training programmes for health personnel on going about the process of identifying beneficiaries and counselling them on the need to undergo vaccination.
A senior health official said, “We are awaiting directions from the Centre on dealing with these two categories of beneficiaries.”
On the other hand, as the Centre is also allowing private hospitals to administer vaccine by charging a specified amount, it has to be seen how many will go for such a vaccine as most people prefer government facilities as it is provided for free of cost.
IMA state president Dr S. Vijaya Kumar Prasada Reddy said “When the government intends to administer Covid-19 vaccine free of cost, not all
targeted beneficiaries are turning up for varied reasons and if people are asked to pay, very few people will go for the jab.”
- AP received 16,12,310 doses of Covishield and 4,96,480 doses of Covaxin from the Centre for taking up vaccination of healthcare personnel and