Vaccine cards are a must for boosters, but many have already lost theirsGetting a replacement proving difficult as vaccination data was not computerised.
On Sunday, Nirajan Poudel went to the Minbhawan-based Civil Hospital to inquire about a replacement for his lost Covid vaccination card, which the hospital had issued after vaccinating him many months ago.
The hospital administration told him that they had already sent the vaccination register to the Health Office, Kathmandu and asked him to go there for a new card.
“I had also visited the Health Office for a new card, but officials said that they do not have time to search for his name in the register sent by the hospital,” complained Poudel, who hails from Nuwakot. “Authorities have said that a vaccination card is mandatory to get a booster shot and to use public amenities. I am worried that I will be deprived of both.”
Sahas Neupane, a resident of Hattiban Lalitpur, took the first dose of vaccine from Samakhushi, from where Nepal Army had run an isolation centre. But he lost the vaccine card after receiving the first dose.
“I requested health workers in Lalitpur and took a second dose but I do not have a vaccine card,” said Neupane. “I don’t know where to go for the vaccine card, and I am worried of being deprived of booster shots and use of public amenities.”
As the government has launched booster shots and ramped up vaccination drive, many people are found to have lost their vaccine cards.
For a second dose and also for a booster shot, people must present the vaccine cards issued by the government.
Now with many people complaining of losing or misplacing their vaccine cards, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that people can go to their vaccination centres or health facilities from where they had taken the jab and get a copy of the vaccine card. This applies to both who are seeking their second dose or a booster dose.
Health offices of the respective districts, however, say implementing the Health Ministry’s decision is easier said than done.
“Take Kathmandu for an example. We have administered jabs to over 2.3 million people in Kathmandu district alone,” Sambhu Kafle, chief of the District Health Office Kathmandu, told the Post. “We simply administered jabs and entered the recipients’ names manually on a register. The recipient data was not entered on the computer. Now how is it possible to search for individual names?”
Officials say searching for names is like looking for a needle in a haystack since the data is not computerized.
According to Kafle, dozens of people, who first approached their respective immunisation centers for their lost vaccination cards, were asked by local units to visit the District Health Office, Kathmandu for the copy of the vaccine card.
“Local units are asking people to go to the District Health Office, saying that they have sent the record registers here,'' added Kafle. “We tried to check the record, but could not find the names. But the problem will be solved if the Health Ministry allows us to issue vaccine cards on the basis of self-declaration by the individuals concerned.”
He also said since most of the staff of his office are on leave after catching Covid, his office lacks staff to pore over the vaccination record books.
On Wednesday, 11,335 people tested positive—9,502 in 18,078 polymerase chain reaction tests and 1,850 in 5,331 antigen tests. It is the highest daily infection number since the start of the pandemic. Daily test positivity rate has crossed over 50 percent.
Four people died of coronavirus infection in the last 24 hours.
Active cases stand at 47,929 throughout the country.
As of Wednesday, 12,466,092 people, or 41 percent of a little over 30 million population, have been fully vaccinated.
Despite the launching of booster shots, many people have failed to get the jabs due to poor vaccination management, a lack of communication and manpower shortage.
So far, 11,247 people have received booster shots, according to officials.
Although the government had urged all to keep their vaccine cards safely, many appear to have lost them or misplaced them.