Earlier, the state was administering around 1.75 lakh doses on a daily basis. The number has now slipped to between 1.4 lakh and 1.5 lakh doses per day.
According to officials, while most vaccination centres in urban areas have a decent turnout, in rural areas people still have to be persuaded to step out for the jab. “People here still have concerns about what will happen after they take the jab. Health workers have to visit their homes and educate them about the importance of the vaccine to ensure they turn up at the vaccination centres,” said Dr Swarajya Lakhsmi, district medical health officer, Rangareddy.
In one case for instance, 200 people took the vaccine shot at the Keshampet primary health centre (PHC) only after being sensitised by officials. On an average, PHCs administer about 100 doses every day.
Within the limits of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) too, officials say they at times have to send their staff to peoples homes to convince them about taking the Covid-19 vaccine. “We want to ensure that before another wave hits us, everyone is vaccinated. That is the only way we can restrict the mortality rate,” said a health department official.
Another issue: shortage of vaccines at government centres. “Earlier, centres received stock for a week. But now there is day-to-day supply depending on the number of second doses in a particular area,” said an official. At present, no government centre is offering the first dose of Covaxin. It is only available those scheduled for their second dose. The state has even halted the vaccine drive on Wednesdays and Sundays.
But not just government centres, vaccination numbers at private hospitals too are on a decline. “This could be because of a laid back attitude kicking in among people, following a dip in Covid-19 cases. Also, government hospitals are offering free vaccines to people of all age groups now. That might also be why people aren’t turning up at private hospitals,” said Amit Adilabadkar, chief brand officer of KIMS Hospitals.