Beneficiaries who have taken the first dose of the COVID vaccine will have to keep a tab on their second dose, as per the civic health department. This became necessary after the Centre on Monday announced that the Co-Win portal will not automatically schedule appointments for the 2nd dose. The beneficiary, however, will have to be informed of the window available to him between the two doses, so that he can make the 2nd visit within the stipulated time frame.
The Centre recently wrote to States and UTs asking them to increase the interval between the two doses of Covishield to 4-8 weeks, in view of the emerging scientific evidence of increased protection if it is given thus.
“But CoWIN will no longer schedule your second dose appointment automatically. You should schedule it yourself as per the recommended gap between the two doses,” said RS Sharma, Chairman, Empowered Group, on COVID vaccination.
Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, explained that so far they were informing the beneficiaries, as less population was being covered by the inoculation drive, but from April 1 all individuals above 45 years of age will be eligible for vaccination which can create chaos.
Dr Deepak Baid, president, Association of Medical Consultants, said it is the duty of the government agencies to inform the beneficiaries of the second dose; shrugging off the responsibility was not a wise decision. Thus far, 10 lakh registered beneficiaries have been vaccinated, of which more than 5 lakh have received a second dose.
“We understand that all measures are being taken to speed up the vaccination drive and that half of the population will be eligible for the jab from April 1, but the government should use all its manpower to ensure a hassle-free drive. That makes it necessary for beneficiaries to be informed about the second dose as there are many who will definitely forget about it,” he said.