BHOPAL: Despite all efforts — including on-the-spot registration, the state could achieve only 50 per cent vaccination against the set target of inoculating around 4.17 lakh healthcare workers. So far, around 2 lakh health workers have been vaccinated at 1,100 session sites in the state. After the vaccination of the health workers, the immunisation of the frontline workers (FLWs) of civic bodies, police and revenue departments is to be carried out.
The health department attributed the low turnout to the vaccination process being voluntary and not mandatory. The authorities have no power to force people to come for the jab. Amid the low turnout of health workers, the administration has arranged for a mop-up session on February 3 to give another chance to those healthcare workers who missed the vaccination in the first round.
State immunisation officer Dr Santosh Shukla said that vaccination sessions allowed 100 people per site, but it was noticed that, at some centres, fewer people were turning up. To deal with the issue of low turnout of healthcare workers, the Union ministry of health and family welfare has modified the CoWIN app to allow on-the-spot beneficiary registration and, with the upgrade, the states can accommodate walk-ins.
'Vaccination is voluntary and not mandatory'
"Vaccination is voluntary and not mandatory, so, we can't force a beneficiary to approach the session site for the jab. We always try to scale up vaccination. The Union health ministry even modified the app to improve the low turnout. The health ministry made a provision in the app to accommodate beneficiaries scheduled to take the jab on other dates. Earlier, the software wasn’t designed to accept beneficiaries outside the day’s list, but, now, they can," said state immunisation officer Dr Santosh Shukla.