Calcutta Municipal Corporation considers opening centres to vaccinate 18-44 age group

Universal vaccination is a very important tool in reducing child mortality, said a civic doctor.

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation is considering opening centres dedicated to vaccinating the 18-44 age group to reduce crowding at civic clinics, which officials said is hampering non-Covid health services.

People who are 45 or older will continue to get their jabs from the civic health clinics.

The civic body is planning to start vaccination of the 18-44 age group towards the end of this month.

Officials said the rush for Covid vaccination is affecting other services offered by the clinics, such as check-up of tuberculosis patients, routine inoculation of children and monitoring of maternity health.

“People in need of non-Covid services have mostly stopped visiting civic clinics because of overcrowding caused by Covid vaccine recipients. They fear they might catch the infection from the crowd. If such people stop visiting the clinics, other serious health issues will crop up. The civic body wants to avoid that and so it is planning to run vaccination of the 18-44 age group at other centres,” said an official of the CMC’s health department.

“The number of recipients in the ‘45 and above’ group is gradually decreasing as a large number of them are vaccinated. The real crowding will be in the 18-44 group. If they are vaccinated at other centres run by the CMC, the burden on health clinics will lessen,” the official said.

An official of the civic body’s health department said they had noticed more than 50 per cent drop in routine immunisation of children in some of the health clinics. Under the universal vaccination scheme, newborns are administered vaccines against a range of diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella and hepatitis B.

The vaccines are administered for free at the CMC clinics.

Universal vaccination is a very important tool in reducing child mortality, said a civic doctor.

“The sharp drop in the number of newborns being brought to the CMC clinics for vaccination is a cause of concern,” the doctor said.

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