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Not many takers for Covid-19 booster dose in Madhya Pradesh

Officials attribute slow pace to festival & fast; drop in cases have relaxed the beneficiaries, believe health experts

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 10:24 PM IST

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Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): With the number of new Covid-19 cases declining in the state, the people in general do not seem to care much about the booster dose, say experts. However, National Health Mission officials have attributed the poor response to the precaution dose to ongoing festivals and fasts.

Booster dose roll out for all 18 plus categories is yet to pick up in Madhya Pradesh as the decline in coronavirus cases has relaxed the people already shielded by two vaccines, says health experts. State immunization officer Dr Santosh Shukla said, “The turnout for the precaution dose is poor because of festivals. We expect people would start coming for the booster dose after the festivals.”

Dr Upendra Dubey, district immunization officer, Bhopal, however, feels that people have become relaxed after receiving the first and second dose and thus have given poor response to the booster dose.

Pricing is also a key factor for the low turnout for the third precautionary dose. The booster dose is being administered only in private hospitals and the beneficiaries will have to shell out Rs 500 – Rs 600 for a shot. Even as the government has fixed Rs 400 for the booster dose, the private hospitals are charging Rs 150- 200 as service charge, thus the total amount of the dose is coming to around Rs 600 per shot.

United Doctors Forum president Dr Anup Hazela said, “Beneficiaries coming to private hospitals will have to pay Rs 400 for the dose, the price fixed by the government. People should come forward for booster dose from a safety point of view.” “People may hold pricing as a key factor for the slow pace. But 60 plus category beneficiaries are also not turning up for the booster dose even when it is being administered free of cost at government hospitals. So it seems that people have become relaxed after receiving the first and second dose of Covid-19 and are not much bothered about the booster dose. This could be a reason for the slow pace,” said Dubey.

Precautionary Dose (booster) rolled out for 18+ age groups from April 10, 2022 in all private hospitals. This time, public hospitals will not administer booster doses. Only above 60 plus category beneficiaries will be administered booster doses in public hospitals free of cost. All 18+ who have completed 9 months after administration of 2nd dose, are eligible for Precaution Dose.

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Published on: Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 10:24 PM IST