Mumbai: Doctors and healthcare workers (HCWs) believe that the Central Government's app -- CoWin-20 -- should include a refusal and delay option, so that they can opt out before being registered on the application.
Recently, in a meeting with the Union Health Minister, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope also pointed out the need for a 'reject' option in the application. Health experts say, since registration for the vaccine drive is voluntary, HCWs may or may not register for it. But if they do register, then they are required to take both doses. Moreover, there should also be a 'delay' option in case someone is not ready to take the vaccine in the first phase but can take it in the second phase.
Dr Deepak Baid, President, Association of Medical Consultants, said there should be proper awareness about the Covid vaccine, as there are varying reactions not just in the public but also amongst the HCWs who have registered themselves for the vaccination drive. He is of the opinion there should be two additional options, ‘refuse’ and ‘delay’ in the CoWin app so that people think twice before registering for the vaccination drive.
“This vaccination is voluntary and whoever wishes to register for it can do so, but if they refuse to take the vaccine, then their name will be off the drive. So there should be a ‘delay’ option, along with 'refuse', so that if someone wants to wait and is not willing to go the first time, they can still opt to do so in the second phase,” Dr Baid said. Given the many assumptions related to vaccines, even those who have registered for vaccination may opt out.
He further said, those who have registered themselves for Covid-19 vaccination drive should be mentally prepared to get both doses and not opt out after the first dose. “If any beneficiary is taking the first dose, then he must take the second dose or else action should be taken against them, as they will be wasting vials which could have been given to a beneficiary willing to go through the course,” Dr Baid added.
Dr Avinash Bhondwe, State President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) said there is no harm if people want to opt out of vaccination drives, as the data of beneficiaries who have shown willingness to take vaccines
is being uploaded by government agencies. "People should come forward to take the vaccine in the interest of the nation and humanity. Beneficiaries have the freedom to decide, so accordingly, they can visit the vaccine centre for it or they need not. In such cases, we cannot do anything, as there will be people who will opt out. Moreover, in all vaccination drives, there are some who back out on the day of vaccination, so there’s no need for a refusal option in the CoWin app,” he said.
BMC's 2nd dry run
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will be conducting a second dry run today (January 15) at six centres to check for preparedness. The vaccination drive is to be kick-started from January 16. The six vaccination centres include the King Edward Memorial (KEM), BYL Nair, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General (Sion) Hospital; four peripheral hospitals - Bhabha Hospital in Bandra, VN Desai Hospital in Santacruz, Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar and Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Hospital in Kandivli.