Follow Us:

Vaccine ‘chaos’ at SMC centres goes on

Several mothers of children up to the age of 12 had gathered at the centre since dawn today, but after waiting for a long time, they had to return without being given the shots.

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

Several women came down heavily on authorities concerned at a Covid vaccination centre, which was inaugurated by former tourism minister Gautam Deb recently at the Kanchenjungha Stadium after they came to know that another group of people would be vaccinated and not them.

Several mothers of children up to the age of 12 had gathered at the centre since dawn today, but after waiting for a long time, they had to return without being given the shots.

Not only at the Kanchenjungha Stadium, but vaccine-seekers have also expressed unhappiness over the non-availability of the shots at various other vaccination centres in Siliguri organised by the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) over the past few days. It may be mentioned here that several people are waiting for their second dose for many days.

According to sources, vaccines are not available in many other centres in the Siliguri subdivisions and even Jalpaiguri sub-division areas. Former Siliguri MLA and CPI-M leader Asok Bhattacharya alleged “extreme lawlessness, chaos and harassment due to the partisanship and narrow politics,” which he
said was going on at vaccination centres in Siliguri.

“However, no action has been taken to solve the problems. All these grievances have also been published in newspapers. In Siliguri, former councillors have not yet been appointed coordinators like in other municipal corporations,” said Mr Bhattacharya, who is the former chairman of the SMC’s Board of Administrators and the former Siliguri mayor.

“The number of Covid patients is higher in Siliguri than many other districts. Stop factionalism and disintegration of the party and concentrate on the work of the corporation on an urgent basis. We are also trying to make up for the
the shortfall of the second dose,” Mr Bhattacharya added.

The present chairman of the SMC Board of Administrators, Gautam Deb, on the other hand, said: “Ward No 24 is vulnerable. We are organising vaccination camps on a priority basis. Presently, we are providing vaccines to mothers who have children up to 12 years old. The list of mothers will be prepared by ICDS employees and there is no need to engage coordinators.”

“Both Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri district administrations have been providing vaccines for SMC areas. Availability of the Covishield vaccine is better than Covaxin as the Centre is supplying vaccines as per its own policy. We are trying hard to provide vaccines to all on priority basis. Only 25 per cent of the vaccine is being to organisations.”