THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The vaccination drive to combat Covid-19 began at 133 designated centres in the state on Saturday, marking the beginning of an effort to immunise more than three crore people. The drive kicked off around 11.15am after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation. The state administered the first dose of the vaccine to 8,062 health workers, nearly 40 per cent less than the set target of 13,300. No adverse reaction has been reported so far.
The inaugural function and technical glitches in the Centre’s CoWIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) application delayed the immunisation process, forcing administrators to leave out up to 5,238 of the 13,300 beneficiaries. Health Minister K K Shailaja’s office had later released a statement scaling down the target to 11,138, which was also not met. The drive will resume at 9am on Monday.
In Thiruvananthapuram, Director of Medical Education Dr Ramla Beevi and Director of Health Services Dr Sarita R L were the first persons to receive the vaccine at the Integrated Family Health Centre, Pangappara, and the Women and Children Hospital, Thycaud, respectively. In other districts, the district medical officers took the lead.
As glitches in the CoWIN app caused delays, the health department switched to offline mode. “The software was supposed to choose a beneficiary randomly and alert them through SMS. Due to the glitch, we had to intimate them manually from the list we had. So, many of them ended up missing the dose,” said an officer. Details of the beneficiaries were collected offline and uploaded later when the portal became live again.
However, there is still confusion among administrators regarding the accommodation of those left out. “Each centre has been given doses as per the number of beneficiaries. So those who didn’t get the dose on the first day can take the jab on subsequent days,” the officer said.