The COVID-19 vaccination drive has garnered tepid response in Punjab as only 27.9 per cent beneficiaries have so far received their first jab in the state. Centre has flagged Punjab and Chhattisgarh over their "poor coverage" in vaccination drive.
Punjab rolled out the coronavirus vaccination process on Saturday, with the aim to inoculate 1.74 lakh healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase. The state evoked a poor response of just 22.67 per cent on first day as 1,327 beneficiaries, including doctors and other frontline healthcare workers, turned up to receive their first dose of vaccine, as against the target of 5,853 in 22 districts. The figure improved marginally to 33.1 per cent on second day as 1,993 out of 6,021 health workers were vaccinated.
The reason for low vaccination rate was healthcare workers' concerns over the vaccine's safety along with a glitch in the CoWIN digital platform which was used to register beneficiaries and inform them about vaccination sites.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said he would get himself vaccinated in the next phase. He has said that the vaccine would be administered to the health workers first, followed by the Army and police personnel, in line with the guidelines of the Government of India.
The Chief Minister said that as many as 408 vaccination teams had been constituted and 59 teams have been working to inoculate the healthcare workers in the initial stage. Besides, 729 cold chain points had been established in the state for adequate storage of vials at the desired temperature.
According to Union Health Ministry, a total of 4,54,049 beneficiaries have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country, while 0.18 per cent adverse events were reported following immunisation, while 0.002 per cent had to be hospitalised. In a span of 24 hours, 2,23,669 people were vaccinated for COVID-19 across 3,930 sessions taking the cumulative total of people vaccinated to 4,54,049 (across 7,860 sessions conducted so far) in the country.
India's total COVID-19 active caseload has dropped to 2,00,528 as on date which consists of just 1.90 per cent of the total cases, while the daily new cases touched a new low on Tuesday with 10,064 daily new infections being added to the national tally.