While the suburban areas of Chennai like Chengalpattu, Thiruvalur and Kancheepuram are showing signs of a spike in Covid cases, the vaccination of youngsters in the age group of 18-44 in these areas has almost stopped due to shortage and people are rushing to private hospitals in Chennai to get a jab.
The private hospitals in Chennai are charging anything between Rs 850 to Rs 900 for a jab and coupled with the cost of transport from the suburban areas to the city, it has burned a hole in the pocket of these youths.
Mahendra Kumar, 28, a local businessman at Chengalpattu told IANS, "I came to Chennai for a jab as there is a shortage of vaccine in Chengalpattu and I had to shell out Rs 850 for vaccination. I came by a hired vehicle and had to pay around Rs 900 for that and other miscellaneous expenses had also to be taken care of. I could afford this but there are umpteen youths who are in no position to come to Chennai and get vaccinated. Government must immediately act and make vaccine available for all."
In areas like Poonamalle, Tambaram, and Porur, there is no update on the CoWin portal even after registering two days back. Manoj Mahadevan, a retired officer with a public sector undertaking and president of Tambaram (1) resident association while speaking to IANS said, "My nephew and his friend registered with the CoWin portal on Saturday and today is Tuesday, there is no information. Only option is to go to Chennai and get vaccinated in a private hospital."
Interestingly Chennai has received 20.4 lakh vaccinations, but the three districts of Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, and Kancheepuram together have got only 7.02 lakh vaccines till Monday evening.
In areas like Chitlapakam and Seliyur people are returning home without jab. Mahesh Krishnamoorthy of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, who is active in creating awareness among the people for vaccination, while speaking to IANS said, "There is a disparity in the allocation of vaccines in Tamil Nadu and it has to be rectified immediately as there is a spike in cases in rural areas and the suburban centres of Chennai need to be inoculated as early as possible."
The health department officials however said that the it is looking into the disparities of vaccine allocation and said that this would be fixed in a few days as the state is expecting more vaccines.