Following widespread allegations of people not getting Covid-19 vaccines, the health department is planning to launch a ward-wise vaccination drive to smoothen the process. Health department officials said they want to ramp up the vaccination in view of the anticipated third wave.
The officer on special duty for public health in north Bengal, Dr Susanta Kumar Roy, who addressed a meeting with Darjeeling and Kalimpong district magistrates, chief medical officers of health, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) principal Prof Indrajit Saha and other officials in Siliguri today, said they discussed the issue in the meeting.
“We are facing the problems due to a crisis of vaccines, but we can utilise the available doses properly. We discussed that ward-wise vaccination programmes will help in doing away with serpentine queues outside vaccination centres, and address the grievances of the people. The health department has launched such a drive in Jalpaiguri,” Dr Roy said.
“Caccination is necessary in view of the impending third wave of the pandemic. We want to expedite the drive, especially ensuring at least 70 percent of the second doses within August,” he said.
Public health experts have underlined the need to make the vaccine available for a maximum population and strictly following Covid appropriate behavior, so as to mitigate the impact of the third wave. Apart from the NBMCH, hospitals, and other health facilities, vaccination camps are held at 10 urban primary health centres in 47 wards under the Siliguri Municipal Corporation. People have put up protests and levelled allegations after they failed to get their doses.
Dr Roy said the plan could be taken up in around three wards with a target of 500 vaccinations, including 100 for mothers of children up to age 12 years, daily.
“I have asked administrative officials if that can be possible. We will provide all the necessary help and also try to increase the number of vaccinations,” he said. The civic body will appoint a nodal officer for each ward, it is learnt. Dr Roy, however, said it will be a problem holding such a drive in the Hills, due to the difficult terrain there.