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PUNE

PMC threatens to take away facilities of civic staff for refusing to take vaccine, testing Covid positive

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Upset over the poor response of civic staff towards the vaccination process, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has threatened to take away various facilities given to them if they are found positive for Covid-19.

The civic health department had prepared a list of 5,277 frontline workers to be inoculated but it has reports of only 921 getting vaccinated, and 22 refusing to take the vaccine dose by March 16.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal said, “If civic officers and other staff are not getting vaccinated… and they test positive for coronavirus, then they will not get various facilities of the PMC. The entire responsibility of this would be on the respective civic officer and the employee.”

Agarwal was among the first civic staffers to get inoculated. to set an example for other employees. The heads of various civic departments have to communicate the decision taken by the administration to their junior staff, she said.

The civic health department had earlier told all other departments to get their staff vaccinated.

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According to a civic officer, some of the staffers are reluctant as they are apprehensive about the vaccine. “The conservancy staff, especially, are not coming forward to take the vaccine, saying they have been working throughout the pandemic and must have become immune to the viral disease. It is the same for the other staff,” said the officer, adding that heads of civic departments should convince the staffers.

Some civic personnel are also citing the reported “side effects” of the vaccine as a reason for avoiding it. They have said that if they fall ill, they will have to take leave but the PMC has asked its employees to attend office regularly.

While vaccination for frontline workers started on February 8, the PMC has been able to inoculate 41,864 healthcare workers and 27,706 frontline workers with the first dose and 15,999 and 921 with the second dose till March 17. It has also administered the vaccine to 93,721 senior citizens and 17,332 co-morbid patients.

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