As a result, several hospitals which were lagging behind in the past four sessions reported 100% turnouts. North East district reported 100% turnout while South, which has nine centres, notched up 99%. Turnout was high across all 11 districts. Lok Nayak Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and Delhi State Cancer Institute were among those which reported 100% turnouts.
Turnout jump due to few adverse events?
The overall turnout was only 53% on the first day, 44% on the second day and 48% on the third day. It increased to 73% on Thursday, showing signs of how healthcare workers were coming around.
The authorities attributed the jump also to the negligible number of adverse effects being seen. Only a few dozen among the 25,700 healthcare workers who received the jab in the past one week have reported adverse events. And all those who reported them are now fine and reporting for work and leading normal lives.
On Saturday, 6,967 people out of 8,100 planned to be vaccinated across 81 centres got the shots and only 24 adverse events were reported, with no one hospitalised. Across all the hospitals, many healthcare workers not included in the list of those to be vaccinated walked in to get the vaccine. Out of 100 people vaccinated at Lok Nayak Hospital, 40 were walk-ins.
“Acceptance of the vaccine is growing very fast because healthcare workers can see that those who have been vaccinated are not reporting any major adverse events. All of them are coming to work with confidence. It is motivating others,” said Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital.
According to a government report, one person out of 294 administered Covaxin at six centres reported a minor adverse event while 23 out of 6,673 people given Covishield at 75 centres reported adverse events, including one who reported a severe event.
Lok Nayak Hospital, which had struggled to inoculate even 50 people on each of the first two days, saw 97 people being vaccinated by 1.30 pm. A majority of these were walk-ins, whose name did not feature on the day’s list. They had, however, pre-registered on the Co-WIN app. “People are feeling inspired by senior doctors who have volunteered to take the vaccine. We should be able to complete today’s target before 2pm,” said O P Chaudhary, a nursing officer at the hospital.
Across the city in east Delhi, GTB Hospital had inoculated 94 people by noon. People who had pre-registered on the Co-WIN app were being allowed as well, encouraging them to alert colleagues.
According to Dr Sajneet Kaur, who turned up to get the vaccine at Max Patparganj, the initial hesitancy is going away fast. “As soon as I got to know I could be vaccinated, I came over. For a healthcare worker who is exposed to hundreds of patients daily, this is ideal,” said Kaur, who works at the Delhi government’s homeopathic department at IP Extension.
OT technician Arvind of Aakash Hospital in Malviya Nagar was among those who had queued up at Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital in Khirki village, along with many anganwadi workers like Manju Jha and Vandana Mishra besides Asha workers. They felt that the vaccine will give them safety when they visit households as they have been doing through the pandemic.
Fifty-nine-year-old Asha worker Binita from Tilak Nagar, who had turned up at DDU Hospital in Hari Nagar, said that her family had insisted that she take the vaccine despite apprehensions of side-effects. “Some who have taken it have complained of headache, pain or some discomfort. It is only after a few days that we would know about the efficacy of the vaccine. Despite that, I and others are here,” she said.
Mismanagement was alleged at some centres which led to walk-ins being turned away. Aarti, a nursing officer, and Dr Yashika Dixit from prison hospitals complained that many who were coming for the vaccine at DDU Hospital were forced to return. “I got a call to come to DDU but when I turned up, they said my name was not on the list. It was later that they agreed to let us take the vaccine,” said Dr Dixit.
Mata Chanan Devi Hospital was managing the large turnout well with nodal officer Ishan Sharma saying, “Last time we had over 110 people turning up for the vaccine but it looks like we will cross that figure today.” The response at Janakpuri Super Speciality Hospital was also good. According to nodal officer B K Tyagi, by 2pm, over 57 people had been vaccinated.