Bhubaneswar: At AIIMS-Bhubaneswar, 1411 healthcare workers (HCWs) have reportedly refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine jab. Many among them are also unwilling the sign the self-declaration form introduced by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), forgoing free vaccine from the government in future.
AIIMS-Bhubaneswar director Gitanjali Batmanabane told The Times of India that only 500 health workers have signed the form which they have received from the city civic body. The premier hospital has so far seen 2,595 health workers being vaccinated.
I do declare that I voluntarily refuse to take the government-supplied Covaxin after being aware of the available factsheet and accept the decision that I will not avail myself of any vaccine-related to COVID-19 free of cost from the government in future.
The health workers in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are being administered Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and they do not want to be guinea pigs for a vaccine for which the trials have not even been completed, sources said.
Similarly, 1500 HCWs of a leading private hospital are yet to get the jab but only 200 have signed the form.
In another hospital in the city, 500 health workers are yet to be vaccinated and they have refused to sign the form, additional urban public health officer CVSN Rao told the national daily.
Amid the poor turnout, the government has extended the deadline for the first dose of vaccination drive till February 13. The second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to the health workers from February 15.
Around 81 per cent (2.73 lakh of 3.38 lakh) HCWs registered in the first phase have been vaccinated so far. Sambalpur is the only district where 90 per cent HCWs have been covered. While the coverage in Bhubaneswar is 80.3 per cent, it has been the poorest in Cuttack with 67.1 of them being inoculated.