Second phase of vaccination against COVID-19 gets under way

An elderly woman being administered COVID-19 vaccine at the Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital And Post Graduate Institute.   | Photo Credit: T. SINGARAVELOU

The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination, that enlarged scope of beneficiaries eligible for immunisation, got under way in the Union Territory on Monday.

Launching the programme at the Indira Gandhi Government Hospital and Research Institute, Health Director S. Mohan Kumar said that the phase would cover senior citizens above 60 years of age and those above the age of 45 years with specific co-morbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension and respiratory disease.

J. Ramesh, COVID-19 nodal officer and other health officials were also present as an elderly woman was administered the first shot.

The first phase which was rolled out on January 16 targeted healthcare and frontline workers.

Health officials said the vaccines would be available in any of the 17 government-based centres. The Health Department has a stock of about 70,000 doses.

People should present documents, such as Aadhaar or Voter Id cards for age proof. After vaccination, the norm is to wait for half-an-hour for observation in the vaccine centres.

With a large number of government officials expected to be posted for poll duties with the elections scheduled for April 6, the Elections Department is aiming at having all poll personnel vaccinated.

To date, 10,329 personnel, including 9,589 healthcare workers and 740 frontline workers have undergone immunisation.

Against the backdrop of sub par immunisation coverage in the first phase, a high-powered panel, chaired by Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, has been formed to monitor and upscale vaccination activities across the Union Territory.

Puducherry is on the bottom rung of nation-wide immunisation rates reporting under 50% coverage, along with Nagaland, Punjab and Chandigarh. The Union Territory is also among the eight States/Union Territories that have reported less than 25% coverage of registered frontline workers for the first dose of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, P. Niveda, a nurse hailing from Puducherry, shot to the limelight when she, along with a colleague from Kerala, administered a Covaxin shot to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the AIIMS.

Video clips circulated on social media of her sharing the experience saying how Mr. Modi exclaimed in Hindi “Is it over? I hardly felt anything”.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 10:32:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/second-phase-of-vaccination-against-covid-19-gets-under-way/article33966996.ece

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