Tinsukia: Barely a couple of days after Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to all eligible people to get themselves vaccinated, Twitter users have complained of ‘unavailability’ of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines in the state’s Tinsukia and Jorhat districts.
This is at a time when Sarma had said that the state has a vaccine stock of over 5 lakh doses and another one lakh was expected soon.
Tagging minister Sarma and senior health officials Samir Sinha and Pomi Baruah, Tinsukia resident Subham Ajitsaria tweeted at 10.52 am on Monday: “More than 10 days have passed, still the 1st doses are not available at any vaccination centre in TINSUKIA. @himantabiswa Why to give tall claims in media that 5.25 lac vaccines are available. Are they all 2nd doses? @PomiBaruah @samirsinha69”
Minutes later at 11.14 am, journalist Anurag Kotoky tweeted: “That’s true for Jorhat as well. Parents were told today that only second doses are available. They, both 60 plus, have yet to get the first shot.”
At 11.34 am, health services (family welfare) director Munindra Nath Ngatey responded to the tweet: “@Anurag Kotoky. Both 1st & 2dose vaccines are being inoculated in all the Govt. & Private Hospitals. So please go & get vaccinated if your eligible.”
“@Subham Ajitsaria. Please visit the old/new Civil Hospital.Vaccination is going on as reported by District Immunisation Officer,” said Ngatey in a following tweet.
However, another user Sourav Sharma responded, “sorry but in Tinsukia 1st dose is not available till now.”
Taking forward the conversation, Kotoky tweeted again, “My parents had an appointment from Cowin, and were told at the hospital that shots aren’t available. This was Sanjivani Hospital. Then they tried other hospitals too.”
However, officials in both Tinsukia and Jorhat district have rebutted the claims of unavailability of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
Additional chief medical & health official of Tinsukia Dr Romen Sonowal said, “We have received around 6,500 each of the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Sunday. On Monday, the first dose of vaccination has resumed. However, it is likely to last for a day or two at the most after which inoculation of first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will come to a halt till additional supplies reach.”
Jorhat deputy commissioner Roshani A Korati said, “The first dose of vaccine is available in the district and citizens are being vaccinated.”
In Dibrugarh district of upper Assam, district immunization officer Dr Biswajit Baruah said, “We have received 18,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday. We are giving both first and second doses in the district.
“On an average, we are vaccinating 3,000 to 3,500 persons on a daily basis,” he added.
On Friday, minister Sarma had tweeted: “As of now we have the following stocks: 1.Covishield -3.25 lakh dose; 2.Covaxin -2 lakh dose. Another batch of about one lakh Covaxin dose will arrive in a day or two. I request everyone eligible to please go in for your vaccination.”
India is facing the brunt of the second wave of COVID-19. On Monday morning, the Union health ministry said that India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed 1.50 crore with a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark.
The total tally of COVID-19 cases mounted to 1,50,61,919 and the death toll increased to 1,78,769 with a record 1,619 daily new fatalities, the ministry’s data updated at 8 am on Monday showed.