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Covid-19 jab drive for children witnesses poor response in Jamshedpur 

Over 1.65 lakh children to be vaccinated

Jamshedpur, April 28: The ambitious start of the Covid-19 vaccination drive for children aged 12-14 years in the city has been marked by low turnout with most of the areas vaccinating less children. Children mostly turned up for walk-in vaccination.

 “ It is really very surprising that everybody was waiting to vaccinate their children but now the response is not overwhelming. Parents and children were very happy but the result was not as expected,” said an official.

Children are being administered the Corbevax vaccine manufactured by Hyderabad-based Biological E and the schools were strictly asked by health officials to ensure that age proof was verified and that even if they were one day younger than 12 years, they should not be given the vaccines.

Amidst fear of a fourth Covid wave, vaccination for the 12-14 years age group, the administration is trying to motivate parents to come for vaccination.

In the East Singhbhum district, over 1.65 lakh children belonging to the 12-14 years age group have to be vaccinated with Corbevax. From March 15, the district health department started providing the vaccine through a dozen vaccination centres in the city but a very negligible number of them has been inoculated so far.

District civil surgeon, J Manjhi stated that keeping in mind the recent Covid cases in several cities across the country, the district health department of late launched the vaccination drive at a number of leading schools.

However, there are hardly any takers of Corbevax as if the children and their parents are no longer afraid of the pandemic. Concerned with the reluctance for the vaccination, we have decided to make the school functionaries meet through Zoom. We will get the school functionaries apprised about the seriousness and importance of the vaccine,” said Manjhi.

According to sources in the district health department, the stock of Corbevax is lying unused at the department’s cold storage as there are very few takers of the vaccine.

A health official deployed at the vaccination centre said that about 13 students had come for the vaccination till afternoon and most of them study in the same school. Two to three children came from outside. We are hoping that more students will come in the evening as the boys’ shift starts. Our staff is also going to nearby areas, and informing people about the vaccination facility at the school,” he added.

“ It might be because people are not aware about the vaccination programme and moreover, it is a school day. We are expecting students to arrive for vaccination on the weekend. The major issue with the vaccination is that each vial has 20 doses and in order to avoid wastage, 20 children must be present at a time, so that doses can be administered within hours of opening the vial,” said the official.

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