Healthcare workers across Bengaluru are faking jab: BBMP | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Many healthcare workers still harbour doubts over the safety and efficacy of the jab and are hesitant to take it. Day I (January 16) of the vaccination programme saw 350 of the 475 targeted workers taking the vaccine, but the numbers have dropped significantly since. Technical glitches with the CoWIN portal have only compounded problems.
As of Thursday, 30,000 beneficiaries were vaccinated, but there are cases of fakes. This, despite healthcare workers having the freedom to say no to the jab.
A BBMP source said two medical officers working in a primary healthcare centre in East Bengaluru faked inoculation. “One medical officer said he did not trust the vaccine and did not want it, so he instructed the nurse to hold a small ball of cotton to his arm to make it look like he took the jab,” said the source.
Kamala (name changed), a nurse at a PHC in Shivajinagar, said a health worker who was afraid of getting the jab, faked the act by getting her colleague to simulate injecting the vaccine. “Many are unhappy over being asked to take the vaccine as they do not trust it yet. The two deaths that were reported have added to fears,” Kamala said. “We don’t want the vaccine but there is pressure to take it. Our bosses are all taking the vaccine to set an example for us. In such a scenario, it’s hard for us to opt out since we could draw their displeasure.”
However, Manjunatha Prasad, commissioner, BBMP, insisted there is no pressure on anyone. “Everyone who is registered on the CoWIN portal is eligible to be inoculated,” Prasad said. “They can take the vaccine if they want to. It is not mandatory. There is no compulsion.”
Only Serum Institute of India’s Covishield is being used at vaccination sites in Bengaluru and he said it has been approved after due diligence at the highest level. All safety precautions have been taken, he said. “No one needs worry about its safety,” Prasad said. “Top officials should be a role model to others. There is no need for pretence.”
Another official said, “If a health worker fakes taking the vaccine, their name will be marked as partially complete in the list. Even if they come around and take the second dose, it may not be effective. They will be the losers.”