The vaccination process for the age group of 18-45 has already begun in Goa but it won’t be a smooth ride as many are still not coming ahead to get vaccinated due to lots of misinformation being spread on social media. But even keeping in mind the current speed of vaccination, it will take more than 6 months to all the youth in Goa to get vaccinated, sates the report.
The Chief Minister of Goa Dr. Pramod Sawant had made the tall claims of finishing the vaccination of the 18-45 age group by July end But the projections based on current vaccination rates show that that may remain a pipe dream unless Goa manages to vaccinate at least 10,000 persons a day.
According to the reports, Goa has recorded 16,138 persons in that age group got vaccinated in the last 4 days since the time vaccination had started in Goa, and keeping this rate into consideration it should take more than 6 months before the entire age group is vaccinated.
The directorate of health services estimates that there are around 6.5 lakh individuals in the 18-44 years age group, and 5.5 lakh persons in the 45 years and above bracket. At present, just 10% of the state has been vaccinated. In fact, since the vaccination drive kicked off on January 16, just 96,736 persons have been fully vaccinated.
At this rate, the rough projection shows that it would take over four years for the remaining eligible population of the state to receive both doses.
Although the claims made by the Chief Minister had raised some hope, but the doctors believe that the data and the vaccination trend contradict the story
On Sunday, just 4,788 people in the 18-44 years bracket got the jab. The total number of beneficiaries who got vaccinated on June 6 is 10,297, which includes healthcare workers, frontline workers, and those above 45 years.
According to the doctors, there are two factors that will affect the vaccination process, first is getting more and more people to come out for the vaccination and the second is the availability of the vaccine itself.
“We are looking at 10,000 vaccinations per day, that is the target for the 18-44 age group. If we are able to do so, we can cover this group in three months. The target is to do it as early as possible,” said an official source. However, a senior GMC doctor said that the state is far from 100% vaccinated. “If we could not hit vaccination targets at the peak of the wave, how will we meet targets when cases are low?” the doctor, ahead of the department, said.
Senior doctors say that unless the state government undertakes a course correction, it would be very difficult for the state to vaccinate a significant part of Goa’s population.
“Misinformation and propaganda are big problems in Covid management. The only way to counter vaccine hesitancy is to challenge it and tackle it with urgency,” said a senior doctor who is part of the task force for the third wave. He pointed out rumors being spread that the vaccine affects fertility, potency, and menstruation.
One of the biggest challenges before the state is the inconsistent vaccine supply. “You cannot go on campaign mode for vaccination if you don’t have a consistent supply of vaccines,” said the GMC HoD. “Once you resolve the inconsistency in supply, only then can you reach out to people.”
Doctors have recommended that the state election machinery, along with local elected representatives, should be roped in to enhance participation in the vaccination drive.
The Ground Reality of the Vaccination in Goa
Whatever claims the state government may make in the media but the ground reality is completely different. In the population of 2.5 million, only 97 thousand people have been fully vaccinated to date. (TOI Report) Less than 5000 from the age group 18-45 were vaccinated as of 6th June 2021, while the target of the Government is 10 thousand jabs per day.
There are 6.5 lakh persons in the age group of 18-45 who are eligible for the vaccination and 5.5 lakh persons in the age group of 45 and above are eligible for the vaccination and the total doses of the Vaccine administered to date is 5.58 Lakhs.
According to the reports, the central government had allocated 7.59 lakh doses to Goa out of which 2.45 lakh are remaining with Goa.