Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 11 April 2021 4.24 AM IST

Vaccination centres should be people-friendly


The second phase of vaccination has begun in the country as part of the fight to control the COVID epidemic. The vaccine has already been adopted by top national leaders, including the President, the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, with the aim of thwarting anti-vaccine campaigns and instilling confidence in the people. The Prime Minister and others have testified
that there is no need to doubt the reliability and effectiveness of the vaccine. No one can correct the minds of those who are fascinated by the misconception that anything that is created in the country is of little value. At the same time, billions of people who are eagerly awaiting the vaccine are looking at the vaccines manufactured in the country as a great fortune.

Vaccines are now being offered to senior citizens over 60 and to people between the ages of 45 and 55 who are being treated for serious illnesses. Health experts and administrators are urging that everyone in this category should be vaccinated. There is no need to tell this to the people of Kerala who are at the forefront of literacy. They are always careful and vigilant in matters related to health care. The Department of Health estimates that more than 80 million people over the age of 60 and over 45 who are being treated for various diseases need to be vaccinated. With the start of the second phase of vaccination on March 1, large numbers of people are arriving at each center for the vaccine. Despite this, vaccination facilities are not fully available in many centers. Many of the centers shown in the app are not yet operational. Ordinary people are getting affected by this. Many of those who register are being forced to return from the centers without receiving the vaccine. The authorities should not forget that the elderly who come to get the vaccine also have various health issues. Their journey to the vaccine centres will be in vain if the procedures are not simple and sure. The health department should take strong measures in the coming days to prevent this unfortunate situation. The
allegation that it takes too long to register on the CoWin portal needs to be addressed by experts. The vaccination process can be carried on smoothly only when the arrangements are made in a flawless manner. More vaccination centers should be opened as per the rush. Working hours should also be extended. These are things that happen effortlessly. Millions of babies are vaccinated against polio in a single day. No complaints are heard in this regard. COVID vaccination can also be completed without any complaints by strict adherence to the criteria.

We can hope that the new directives issued by the central government yesterday to expedite vaccination will bring relief. It has been proposed to increase the number of vaccination centres and operate them 24 hours a day. It is also recommended that all private hospitals with facilities should be given vaccines as needed. More staff will have to be deployed to extend the working hours of vaccination centres. Arrangements can be made with the existing staff. The doctors' union was seen issuing a statement against it. This does not seem to be the right approach.

As the disease continues to spread through contact, care must be taken to make sure that vaccination centres do not become centres that spread the disease. At present no such precaution is taken anywhere.

The government must be careful not to let the vaccine become a nuisance to senior citizens and those affected by the disease. The reality is that it takes months, not weeks, to complete the vaccine for all people of a certain age group. The smartness of the health department lies in how it will be able to make the elderly go through the vaccination process with effortless adjustments. Vaccination centres should be more people-friendly.

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