Lucknow, June 03 (KMS): Amid an increasing demand for Covid-19 vaccines and unavailability of slots in urban areas of Uttar Pradesh, several people are travelling 35-40 km to rural areas to get inoculated. Slots are available in rural areas as many in the interiors of UP are still hesitant to take the vaccine due to misconceptions.
With a target of 11 lakh vaccinations in the first week of June, UP expanded its inoculation drive for 18-44 age group to all 75 districts from Wednesday. Till May 31, the drive was being conducted in 23 districts.
India Today found out that in Pakara Bazargaon village’s primary health care centre (PHC), most of the beneficiaries were from cities where they were not able to get slots.
More than 90 per cent of the Covid-19 vaccine recipients at Pakra Bazargaon PHC and Duda Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) were from urban areas.
Anupama Rai, the auxiliary nursing midwife (ANM) of UPHC at IIM Road, said there was hardly 5 per cent turnout from the villages at her centre. She said most of the beneficiaries were coming from the farthest area of the city.
One such beneficiary, 27-year-old Aradhana Prakash, said she had been trying to book a slot for the past 3-4 days without any luck. A resident of Gomti Nagar, Prakash said she travelled 30-35 km to get vaccinated. “More slots should be made available within the city centres,” she said.
Similarly, 22-year-old Manali came to the centre to check if they were allowing walk-in vaccination or not. She was not able to book a slot in the city vaccination centres through the CoWin portal.
One couple, RK Pandey and Neerja Pandey, reached the Pakara Bazargaon village PHC to get vaccinated after travelling nearly 35 km from Lucknow.
Speaking to India Today, Dr Suresh Pandey, Superintendent of CHC Chinhat, said most of the urban population was rushing to rural PHCs and Community Health Centres (CHCs) for Covid-19 vaccination.
“Villagers are apprehensive about the vaccine and the turnout is very low in rural PHCs. Thus, the majority of the turnout is of the city-based population who are coming after booking slots,” Pandey said.
He said efforts were being made to encourage the villagers but the results have been unsatisfactory so far.
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