People are paying high fares and travelling hours to vaccinated, as most vaccination centres in the area are closed.
The vaccine shortage has forced many vaccination centres in Pithoragarh to close. The residents of villages find it difficult to get vaccinated, they are travelling hours from taxis, which is causing them a financial burden.
Mohan Singh Saun, the resident of village Kyutadh, said that when he got his first vaccine shot the vaccination centre was ten minutes away from his village. But, when the time came for his second shot, he had to travel nearly for three hours and paid 200 rupees to the taxi. “It was a compulsion for me to get vaccinated, if I had known the centre will get closed nearby, I would not have taken the first dose.”
According to the Pithoragarh- district abode report, there are 690 villages in the district, and 240 of them are identified as inaccessible. As these villages are at least five kilometres away from the nearest road.
The officials of the District Magistrate office said that they are well aware of the situation and are trying their best to re-open the vaccination centres. They have allowed walk-in registration to all the people above 45 years to temporarily help the people especially those coming from the village. Also, they are currently trying to get more vaccinations from the state.
Bishan Singh, Sarpanch of the village- Marsoli, said that all of the village’s heads have written the letter to the district office, and they have been assured about the vaccination centre. Earlier they had no problem, the vaccination centre was not near, but we had to travel for two-three hours. He said, “We are sharing taxis so that the fare gets divided, this provides some ease to all of us, because all us are financially not well to do. Also, it is risky to travel at these times.”