Suspension of first dose vaccination a worry in Andhra Pradesh

Shortage of Covid vaccines in AP is a matter of worry among people amid the rising cases in the state

Vijayawada: The government made it clear that it will give priority to completion of the second dose to those who have already got the first dose. Some 53,58,712 people in the state got the first dose of Covid vaccine and they were getting the second jab when the shortage for vaccines arose and the government stopped fresh vaccinations.

Those mainly above age 45 are fearful of a swift spread of Coronavirus infection due to the absence of vaccination and are seeking a government review of the decision.

According to reports, only 17,96,000 persons got the second dose vaccination against a total of 53,58,712 who earlier got their first dose of the vaccine. The rest are waiting for their turn.

Initially, people were hesitant to take the vaccine jab due to fear of side-effects, small or big. Now, in the second wave, they are rushing to vaccine centres to get the jabs. This increased the demand for both Covaxin and Covishield.

According to reports, some 78,22,769 people in the age-group of 45-60 in 13 districts of AP were in the line for vaccination, of which only 53,58,712 got the first dose and 24,64,057 have to get their first dose. The decision to vaccinate only those requiring the second dose has put some 24.50 lakh people to the risk of contracting the virus in the absence of vaccination.

Earlier the government had announced vaccination to people above 45 years and recently extended the vaccination to those between 18-45 years from May 1. This created hope among the youngsters and the middle-aged that they would get protection from the pandemic spread. But the state government made it clear that the vaccination will be provided to only second dose beneficiaries across the state on a priority basis in the immediate term.

Quinquagenarians or those in the 50-59 age-group Md. Shafi and J Rakesh, said health experts are alerting about the possibility of a third wave that would be more severe than the second wave. “A majority of the people in the 45-60 age group would be suffering from comorbidities. Getting the vaccination done would increase their immunity level.

Health principal secretary Anil Kumar Singhal said the priority now would be for the second dose beneficiaries. Else, their first dose jabs will go in vain. “People need not worry as the government will vaccinate all in due course of time.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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