Vaccines exhausted, only 5 dists held vaccination drives for 18-44 age group on Tuesday

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 25 May: Only five districts in the state held vaccination drives for the 18 to 44 age group on Tuesday. These comprise Changlang (193), East Kameng (42), Kra Daadi (20), Upper Subansiri (131) and West Kameng (197).

According to the state’s vaccine bulletin, the health department administered 19,969 first doses of vaccine to those in the age group of 18 to 44 years till 25 May, with department officials informing that the vaccine stocks have “exhausted.”

While other districts continued with vaccinating their target groups of healthcare workers, frontline workers, 18 to 44 age group, 45 to 60 age group and 60 years and above age group, Dibang Valley, Lower Siang, Shi-Yomi, Siang and Upper Siang did not administer vaccines to any targeted group or beneficiary on Tuesday.

On enquiry, officials in the health department informed that the vaccine stocks have “exhausted” and they are waiting for consignments to arrive. It was also learnt that all vaccine centres are not catering to the 18 to 44 population.

On the Centre’s Monday announcement that walk-in registration and vaccination will be allowed for the 18 to 44 years age group at government-run vaccination centres, the officials said that “the state government has to notify the same” as the Centre has left the final decision to open walk-in registration and vaccination with the states.

Residents in Banderdewa also said that the Karsingsa primary health centre (PHC), which is the only health centre catering to the vaccine needs of the residents of Banderdewa circle, is reportedly not offering vaccines for those in the age group of 18 to 44 years.

A resident at the PTC in Banderdewa said that none of them in their age group has been able to get a slot at the Karsingsa PHC, barring those in essential services.

“I had registered on 28 April, when the central government issued a notification that people in the age group of 18 to 44 years would receive their vaccines after registering on the CoWIN app. However, we waited till 17 May again after the state government notification. When I and some residents here tried to find a vaccine centre as per our pin code, we would always be shown that there was no vaccine centre available. The Karsingsa PHC is still available only for those aged 45 years and above,” she said.

Informing that the only other vaccination centres close to them in Papum Pare district are in Doimukh and Sagalee, she also raised concern that all the residents of the PTC are frontline workers and their families but “not enough is being done to vaccinate those who live with the frontline workers, who are highly vulnerable to the virus.”

Eight cases have been detected within the PTC so far in the second wave.

Banderdewa circle includes, but is not limited to, DFO Colony, CF Colony, 5/1, Dobam, and Karsingsa.

As of 25 May, a total of 2,54,596 people had been administered their first dose, and 82,029 had been administered their second dose.

Earlier, on 23 April, the health department had informed that the state had received 20,180 doses as per the government of India allocation for those aged 18 to 44 years, and that it would be exhausted in the next two days.

Changlang district has administered the highest 2,043 cumulative vaccines to its 18 to 44 age group population, while Dibang Valley district has had the lowest vaccination for said age group with only 84 cumulative vaccinations since the beginning of the vaccination drive on 17 May.