Limited jabs back home, district recipients throng city vax clinics – Times of India

Kolkata News

Kolkata: The vaccination centres in the city are suddenly witnessing long queues by people from districts.
Nearly 60 lakh people have received at least one vaccine dose (over 60,000 on Friday) in Kolkata whereas the city’s eligible population as per data available is around 32 lakh. Over 17 lakh people in Kolkata have been completely vaccinated. Yet, long queues in city vaccination centres are starting since day-break, and in some cases, from the night before.
Gauri Mondol started from her village in Bongaon along with her husband at 4am on Thursday. The couple in their late 60s took a train to Sealdah and headed to the School of Tropical Medicine where they reached around 6.45am. By then, they were behind 150 people in the queue. “After 4 hours, we were lucky to get a token. But it was a close shave as they only had 200 doses. So if we had arrived even 15 minutes later, we would not have got a token,” said husband Gour Mondol.
People are queuing up at vaccination centres from 4am and almost 80% are from various districts in south Bengal, officials at STM said. People are coming from places like Basirhat, Taki, Krishnagore, Jhargram, Uluberia, Pandua and other far-flung areas to get vaccinated.
“Twice I went to Barasat General hospital and they turned us away because they had less than 100 doses. Many people from our village managed to get their jabs at the School of Tropical Medicine. So almost everybody from our village is coming here now instead of going to Barasat or other places. At least we are sure to get the jab if we queue at dawn,” said Biswajit Ghosh, who came from Basirhat.
At Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata, almost 80% of those turning up to get jabbed are from suburbs and districts. The picture is same in south too.
Mritunjay Barui, a Dakshin Barasat resident, reached Baghajatin station late on Thursday night. He spent the night on the railway platform and by 7am, he reached the KMC-run vaccination clinic at Vivekananda Park located close to Baghajatin market. Despite reaching early, Barui found he was behind 20 others in the queue. Of these 20 recipients, 15 had come from different areas of South 24 Parganas. However, by 11.30am, Barui walked out of the vaccination clinic after taking the jab. “I could not get a vaccine in Dakshin Barasat, so I came here,” Barui, a vegetable vendor, said.
KMC-run vaccination centres have been witnessing a steady spurt in the number of recipients from Canning, Diamond Harbour, Dakshin Barasat and Lakkhikantapur. According to a KMC health department official, several clinics in Garia, Patuli, Baghajatin, Jadavpur, Dhakuria and Kasba were recording a spurt in the number of outstation vaccine recipients. KMC officials said this trend was first noticed a fortnight ago.
“As of now, we have adequate stock of vaccines. We are allocating 300 doses per clinic and over 600 doses for each of the mega centres. Around 60% of our daily allocation is being for south Kolkata clinics and mega centres,” a KMC health department official said.
Some of the KMC mega vaccination centres that have been recording outstation recipients include Bhowanipore Education Society, Jai Hind Bhawan (Harish Mukherjee Road) and Ahindra Mancha (Chetla), among other centres.