Vaccination drive for those above 60 likely to be delayed in State

COVID-19 vaccination for those above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with co-morbidities is likely to be delayed in the State as Kerala has to complete the mammoth task of vaccinating 3.30 lakh poll officials who will be manning the poll process, which is in all likelihood less than two months away.

On Wednesday, the Union Health Ministry had announced that COVID-19 vaccination for those above 60 years and those above 45 years with co-morbidities can be started on March 1 and that apart from 10,000 government vaccination sites, 20,000 vaccination sites would be readied in the private health sector.

“We heard the Centre’s directive but are yet to take any decisions on how the vaccination process can be scheduled in the State. We have just initiated the task of vaccinating 3.3 lakh poll officials, all of whom have to be given two vaccine shots at 28 days interval and this process has to be completed 14 days before the election day so that the vaccine-derived immunity would kick in and give them some protection, “ a senior Health official said.

“We are also in the process of completing the vaccination of 1.44 lakh front line workers, of whom, over 70,000 have received the first dose. We have also started off the administration of second dose of vaccine to those healthcare workers who have received the first dose of vaccine, which would come to 3.37 lakhs,” he pointed out.

The target vaccinations per site per day is still around 100

However, if required, Kerala is fully equipped to take on the challenge of vaccinating more people on a mission mode. Because of the current state of disease transmission in the State, Kerala has been keen to increase the pace of vaccination and cover as many vulnerable people as possible.

Officials said that the State was in the process of readying 1,000 vaccination sites/day for the same.

However, the Health department is still in the process of collecting the data of those above 50 years in the State, based on the 2011 Census figures. It also has to collect the data of those above 45 years with chronic diseases. The data collection might not take much time, but these numbers are going to be huge.

Only when the data collection process is over can the Health Department place its vaccine requirement with the Centre

Health officials said that there would be more clarity on the registrations for the third phase only in the coming days as vaccination of the poll officials has the priority now.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 9:02:37 PM |

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