SHILLONG, June 2: The vaccination hesitancy among the people here is proving to be immensely costly as a staggering 91.4% of those who lost their lives owing to COVID-19 infection were not vaccinated.
An analysis, which has been carried out by Integrated District Surveillance Programme, of the Covid deaths occurring during May in East Khasi Hills shows that of the 345 deaths , 319 victims had not been vaccinated at all. Only 26 had taken the first dose while there were zero deaths among those who have received both doses.
The gender-wise distribution of Covid 19 deaths for East Khasi Hills during the same period (May 1-31) shows that of the 345 deaths, there were 182 males and 163 females.
There were 275 persons with co-morbidities, 61 without co-morbidities and nine whose health status is unknown.
A total number of 35 persons were brought dead to different hospitals which indicates a delayed response for treatment.
While this analysis is for East Khasi Hills only where the maximum deaths have occurred, a similar trend is likely in the other districts too, feared Principal Secretary Health, Sampath Kumar.
He told this reporter on Wednesday “Vaccination is the only scientific solution for us to protect ourselves from this pandemic. Until everyone gets vaccinated we cannot and should not bring down the containment measures especially of wearing masks and physical distancing at all times, apart from hand hygiene and other SOPs.”
Underlining the need for an urgent attitudinal change among the citizens, Kumar said that this message has to aggressively go out to the districts through the Deputy Commissioners of every district.
He also said that war rooms have been set up at the Block levels and VECs and SHGs are being mobilised through the Community and Rural Development Department and through teachers and students to be mobilised by the Education Department and also other community leaders.