Assam: The Assam government has prioritized the second dose of Covaxin, amid the acute scarcity of vaccines in the state. The government has stopped administering the first dose for now while ensuring that people get their second dose of vaccine on priority.
The Hengrabari Medical Unit in Guwahati is the only permanent vaccine center in the city offering Covaxin supplies. Many 45+ aged individuals are regularly visiting the vaccine center in the hope of availing the second dose of Covaxin, as the deadline for the second dose is only 42 days.
A 48-year-old who visited the center said, “Today is my 43rd day and the deadline has already passed. I got my first dose of Covaxin from Sonapur, but they don’t have vaccines there anymore. The center is only able to vaccinate around 100 people in a day, amid the Covaxin crisis”.
To make sure that people get their second dose of Covaxin within the stipulated timeline, the government has stopped administering the first dose for now.
As per the sources, there are many private hospitals in the state offering Covaxin supplies at the cost of Rs. 1200. However, the high pricing of the vaccine is acting as a barrier for the majority. “I cannot afford a vaccine of Rs.1200-1300, I am a loader at the Guwahati Airport. I have taken several rounds at the government dispensaries near my residence, but Covaxin is unavailable, “ said an individual in Guwahati.
The Assam government is planning to stock up as soon as they can and said, “We are working on a new strategy to resolve the Covaxin crisis”. Mr. Minidra Nath Nagatay, the Director of Health Services and Family Welfare in Assam said, “We are collecting records of 45+ aged individuals who are nearing the deadline of Covaxin and also those who have missed it. We will be using the vaccines meant for the 18-44 age group to inoculate the second dose on priority. We have already placed an order of Covaxin and we’re expecting the supplies soon”.