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Siliguri vaccine problems continue

More than 3,70,000 people have received the first dose, while sources said the population of people aged above 18 years in the SMC area is 372374.

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

People continue to face problems as they seek Covid-19 vaccines in Siliguri, even as allegations of mismanagement and denial of the shots have been doing the rounds for some time now.

Public health specialists have said that to prevent a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, the vaccines should be given to all adults, along with following the Covid protocol. However, even as the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) has focused on ramping up the vaccination drive, there has been no respite in
people facing problems.

“We have set a target to complete the first dose of the jabs within this month,” the chairman of the board of administrators of the SMC, Gautam Deb, has meanwhile said. More than 3,70,000 people have received the first dose,
while sources said the population of people aged above 18 years in the SMC area is 372374.

Protests and chaos at vaccination centres have become regular scenes, and today was no different. Many people who had queued up in long lines since 3 am put up a protest when they were allegedly denied the vaccination at the Haiderpara Buddha Bharati High School (HS) today.

“I stood up in the queue since 3 am, but they did not allow me to get the jab inside the centre. Yesterday, I had a similar experience,” said a local person. A woman alleged that 200 persons were supposed to be vaccinated today, but more than 100 outsiders were let in.

“I waited in the line since 5 am, but many people who came after 8 am got the vaccines, and we did not. If the doses are limited then coupons should have been distributed accordingly. We had to collect the coupons by standing in long queues,” she said.

The protesters complained to Mr Deb as he visited the vaccination centre today. He assured me that everyone will be given the doses. Meanwhile, a chaotic situation occurred at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) over the distribution of coupons for the first dose of the vaccine.

Many people protested near the office of the principal, Prof Indrajit Saha, there, it is learnt. The dean of student affairs of the NBMCH, Dr Sandip Sengupta, said that according to the government guidelines, the coupons were distributed for 100 persons two days before their vaccination, but around 500 people stood in the lines.