Calcutta: Following complaints against a few civic staff at Covid Vaccination Clinics (CVC) run by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation who were taking money from citizens to fix time slots, the civic body’s health department issued a circular warning of severe action if anyone is found engaging in such a practice. The circular of the municipal director of health (CMHO) addressed to the deputies of the CMHO called for increased vigilance of CVCs by the medical advisers managing the centers.
âA staff member attached to a CVC should not be involved in any kind of financial transaction in the immunization process. If there is a complaint, it will be taken seriously and action will be taken against the accused, âCMHO told senior officials of the KMC health department.
The warning, city officials said, was needed on the part of civic authorities to keep CVCs functioning properly at a time when vaccines are scarce and many people return disappointed from clinics.
âTaking advantage of an acute shortage of vaccines and the desperation of citizens, a few employees attached to vaccination centers may have been tempted to sell slots to people desperate to obtain the vaccine. We don’t want that to happen. Hence the warning, âsaid a KMC health department official.
On-site registration at the KMC-run immunization clinics and the rush to get the vaccine before the third wave enabled a few civic staff to earn quick cash.
“We need to isolate these staff members who are very few in number but can destroy the morale of hundreds of dedicated employees working in CVCs,” said a senior KMC health department official.
The circular also called on senior health officials to ensure that banners and posters are prominently displayed at entrances and inside vaccination centers, indicating that vaccines are given free of charge.
âAs part of our efforts to streamline the immunization process, we will hold senior officers accountable for any type of discrepancy that may arise in our CVCs. We are committed to providing hassle-free vaccination in our CVCs, âsaid a KMC official.