Vaccine hesitancy in Kerala’s Ernakulam negligible, says Health Department

Around 20,000 people among the target population of 29 lakh have not taken the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Ernakulam, according to official estimates.

Vaccine hesitancy is around 0.69% in the district, and the Health Department has termed it as ‘negligible’. “A section of those who had not received vaccination included people aged above 90 years, who are bedridden for long and having serious health conditions. There are many senior citizens who are unable to venture out owing to ailments and not willing to take the dose,” said M.G. Sivadas, District Nodal Officer for vaccination.

“The second category includes those who have taken their first dose but are hesitant to take the second jab. They turn reluctant after contracting fever or experiencing other difficulties after receiving the first dose,” he added.

On whether religious reasons were cited by some as a reason for not taking the vaccine, Health Department officials said they had not come across such a feedback. “Some had cited personal reasons for not taking the vaccine. But they have not mentioned them. We cannot force anyone to take the vaccine nor ask them to divulge the reason for not taking it. A considerable number of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy practitioners have taken both the doses,” they said.

Around 78% of the target population have received the second dose. The corresponding figure in the second week of November was 66%. The district authorities have set December 31 as the deadline for covering around 90% of the target population. It will not be possible to achieve the 100% target, as people who may be tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after receiving the first dose will miss their schedule for the second dose. The vaccine is provided after three months of testing positive.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:32:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/vaccine-hesitancy-in-keralas-ernakulam-negligible-says-health-department/article37706300.ece

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