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West Bengal: Commute worry for 2nd dose recipients | Kolkata News

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KOLKATA: As soon as chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay announced the fresh restriction dates on Saturday afternoon, the instant question on everybody’s lips was how do people due for their second dose of vaccination commute till the inoculation centre.
From Facebook to WhatsApp to normal calls, people due for their second dose in the next two weeks of their family members were desperately trying to figure out the government guideline if the vaccine will be available and how will one commute to the vaccination centres in the absence of public transport.
The rush for second dose is expected to decrease a bit in the coming week as the Union health ministry on Thursday increased the time gap between the two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks from the earlier 6-8 weeks based on the recommendation of an expert panel.
“My elder brother and sister-in-law, both of whom are over 55 years of age, are due for their second dose of Covaxin in the third week of May. Now with the fresh curbs announced we are not sure if the vaccination centre will be open. If it is open are we allowed to step out and commute to the centre? I have not seen any specific government guideline over this,” said Subir Ghosh, a resident of Bow Street in central Kolkata.
A health department official explained that all government centres where vaccine for Covid-19 is being administered will remain open on all working days.
“There is no change in the schedule of government vaccination centres. People due for their second dose can walk in with their identity proof and certificate of the first dose and register. They will be administered the second dose if that particular centre has not exhausted the quota for the day,” said the official.
For the next two weeks all modes of public transport, including local trains, Metro, buses, taxis and autos will be suspended. Only a handful autos and taxis will be available for emergency purposes like ferrying people to the vaccination centres or transporting a patient to the hospital. People can also travel to vaccination centres in their private cars, too.
Many people were also apprehensive if they are stopped by cops while going to the vaccination centre due to the restrictions. “I want to know if I need to carry any document so that cops allow me to proceed to the vaccination centre,” said Mohammad Jamal Shamsi, 45, scheduled to take his second dose on May 26.
“If those going to get their second dose show us the certificate of the first dose along with the receipt issued at the time of taking the first dose, they will be allowed to go. But if five people try to accompany them that won’t be allowed,” said a senior police officer in Lalbazar.
Currently second dose is being administered only in government centres. “Once the government resumes first dose of vaccination we will inform about the procedure,” said the health department official.
Watch Covid-19: Lockdown worries for 2nd dose recipients in West Bengal
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