Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Assam government is perplexed that not many people are coming forward to take the second dose of the Covid vaccine.

The state’s Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said the government had no idea on the lukewarm response to the second dose.

“We tried a lot. We set up call centres at the district level and called up people (to come and take the second dose). Despite all such efforts, people are not coming forward to take the second vaccine shot,” a helpless Mahanta told journalists in Guwahati on Tuesday.

“We haven’t received the kind of response we expected. We don’t know why people are not coming forward,” he said.

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Till Monday, 1,18,35,601 or 51% of the beneficiaries took the first vaccine dose and 25,19,613 or 11% of the beneficiaries took the second dose.

The minister appealed to people, including those who have not yet taken the first dose, to come and get jabbed.

“We are administering 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh vaccine doses every day. We have sufficient vaccines and we want people to come forward and get vaccinated. The vaccines have been made available everywhere,” he added.

Director of Health Services (Family Welfare) Munindra Nath Ngatey, who is the state’s vaccination in charge, told this newspaper that a certain number of people had not come forward for the second vaccine dose even after the expiry of the 120-day period.

“The vaccination drive picked up momentum from May 1. In the case of Covishield, the second dose needs to be administered between 84 and 120 days from the day of the first dose. We have noticed that some people come after 100 days. Some come later than that,” Ngatey said.

According to him, the second dose is due for 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh people. He said a section of the paramilitary personnel took the second dose outside the state. “I don’t know why there is some sort of hesitancy about the second dose,” he added.