Andhra Pradesh

Search for the elusive shot

The spike in the COVID-19 cases at a daily average of 2,500 since April last week in Chittoor district, which has seen over 1,000 casualties since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year, has led to a rush for vaccination, particularly in the mandals bordering with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

This shows a vast change in the threat perception of public, since there were no takers for the vaccine from January till the third week of March.

Of the 44.45 lakh population of the district as per the Aadhar data of 2019, including those aged below 18, the district administration could give the first dose of vaccine to 6.70 lakh and the second dose to 1.57 lakh of them (May 6), say officials. Now, over 5 lakh people are daily going round the health centres frantically searching for their second dose.

At this rate, a senior official says, to cover the target group of 45 and above, for both doses, it will take at least one and a half years. A large number of persons in this group are yet to take their first dose, he adds.

Political pressure

On the other hand, the officials engaged in the vaccination drive seem to be coming under a lot of political pressure. “On Friday (May 7), 6,000 doses were allotted for the second dose drive. However, there is pressure from political leaders at various places for administering the vaccine for their near and dear ones, many of whom are aged below 45,” laments a key official in the district medical and health wing.

“The initial hiccups will be overcome soon. There is no need to worry for the second dose as every one will be covered as per the time schedule in 6-8 weeks,” Chief Immunisation Officer (Chittoor) C. Hanumantha Rao tells The Hindu.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 11:29:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/search-for-the-elusive-shot/article34522050.ece

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