Chaos continues at GCC vaccine centre in Alwarpet

Chaos continues at GCC-run vaccine centres. And the one in Alwarpet, perhaps the biggest witnessed this this on Wednesday morning, April 21. The agitated crowd spilled on to the road and protested and it needed local police to talk to the people and being some order here.

That token are now being given early at the clinics seems more of a temporary practice to deal with big streams of people. Not all people are aware of this. Those who get to know are lining up and taking the tokens but they can take the jabs only after 10 am.

The stay infuriates many people, seniors who must have tiffin or take their medicines are affected and a worried lot.

This morning, since the local power cut was on, the centre was in darkness. The vaccine arrived only at about 10;30 am.

Once police brought order here, the process worked smooth.

A staff here says they have freezers to retain the vaccine for close to 48 hours. But there is no power backup facility here. He says since the vaccine now gets exhausted fast, there is no need to preserve/store locally.

However in this continuing chaos, the GCC staff are at their posts, cool and carry on doing what they have to do.

  • Report by Aishwarys R., intern at Mylapore Times

3 Comments on “Chaos continues at GCC vaccine centre in Alwarpet”

  1. I find many senior citizens waiting for their turn to take the jab. It will be better if separate time is allotted to senior citizens or they be given preference so that their waiting time is reduced.

  2. Sir,
    Today I went reluctantly for my jab. I went to Appu street based on the advice a neighbour.

    I went at 8 am and some 50 people stood waiting for gates to open. They had got their tokens. I got mine as well. Gates opened by 8.45 am and only the first 50 were allowed, saying there were only 50 vials of the vaccine. The rest were asked to wait or have the breakfast and come back.

    I returned after 20 mins and found a bigger crowd and the token system was not followed. On asking ,I was told that only Covisheild vaccines would arrive at 10.30 or 11 am and I can wait or come back. Fearing missing my jab , I stayed back awaiting my number. People started gathering with no vaccines in sight. There were those who asked for their second jab of COVAXIN, which the staff initially said was absolutely unavailable today and they can come back tomorrow to find out if its available. Many Covaxin second jab people left hearing this.

    As the said time approached, the crowd which was getting bigger eating away all distancing measures, people were told that Covaxin was likely to arrive and so only those awaiting dose 2 will be given. So some who came later waited. A lady walked in with the vaccine box, people just crowded around a poor lady who was extremely patient giving info, writing people’s details etc.

    The vaccinations with Covaxin started with serpentine queue of people standing close together. No COVID protocols were followed. No one complained as space was full.
    When COVISHEILD arrived at around 11.20 am, the people surged forward to be vaccinated.
    The line of people awaiting the Coxin jab got disturbed and fights and verbal chaos erupted. Some loud voiced volunteers arose from the crowd to help discipline the angry people and help manage the crowd.

    Covaxin people were separated into their lines and covishield people were called by name to get their jabs in separate places. Order was gone. People had no other way except to stand in huge crowds.

    I found most had a slip given after vaccination, which contains date of first jab and next due date. I did not receive it. I just have the roughly scribbled chit, from a small notepad, as my proof.

    Problems

    1. Space is extremely small for the enormity of crowd in the area.
    2. Chairs can be provided for the people so they can wait outside for their numbers. A set of 40-50 can first receive their jabs and then next 50 can come in.
    3. Staff though extremely patient, did work well. But some step-in persons (volunteers) OR additional staff can be appointed.
    4. This waiting can be removed by computerising the stuff , like visual display of token numbers.
    5. Staff to ensure people get their documents before they leave.
    6. Volunteers to keep stock of new and second recipients.

    Such a chaos wouldn’t have happened in the staff were well prepared and people properly informed and managed.

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