Tamil Nadu

Health Minister gets vaccinated, State to get additional doses of Covaxin today

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday   | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar on Friday received a dose of Covaxin at the vaccination centre at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) to build confidence in doctors, nurses and healthcare workers.

“I received the vaccination, not as a Minister, but as a doctor and member of the Indian Medical Association to boost the confidence of my fellow doctors, nurses and frontline workers of the Health Department. There should be no hesitancy to take the vaccines,” he told reporters.

Till date, the State has received 10,45,000 doses of Covishield and 20,000 doses of Covaxin. “Today, 1,69,920 doses of Covaxin will be arriving in Chennai. With this, the total doses of Covaxin received will stand at 1,89,920,” he added.

The Minister said the State had 28 lakh syringes ready. The COVID-19 vaccines were administered in 166 centres across the State. As of Thursday, 42,947 healthcare professionals/workers have been vaccinated in TN.

Asked why he preferred Covaxin, the Minister said, “It is an indigenous product. So far, only 907 persons have taken it in the State. It is apt to take the vaccine that has fewer takers. It is to build confidence among healthcare workers and even among the public.”

State’s vaccine performance

On how the State was performing in the COVID-19 vaccination, he said, “Initially, there are rumours whenever vaccination is taken up. Such was the case when we started MMR vaccination. There are rumours on social media and false information in some media….This creates hesitancy. This is why the dean of RGGGH, president of Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association, vice chancellor of Tamil Nadu MGR Medical University and I took the vaccine.” He stressed the need to avoid spreading rumours. “Be confident. Be a hero, and take the vaccine,” he said.

Asked about a school student in Salem testing positive for COVID-19, the Minister said a number of studies taken up by the State showed that COVID-19 caused an impact in school-going children and newborns. “We have done studies on COVID-19 and how it has affected various age groups such as the percentage of newborns affected, children, and also pregnant women. We have found that COVID-19 has not affected school-going children, newborns, and has affected women less. It affected mainly those above 60 years. There is no need for fear. Schools were reopened after taking the views of parents, teachers and advice of medical experts into consideration. Students should wear masks and maintain physical distancing,” he said.

All, including educational institutions, should adhere to public health norms, he said.

On Food Minister R. Kamaraj’s health condition, he said doctors of MGM Healthcare where he was admitted, and a team of doctors of RGGGH were monitoring him. “He was intubated and he is on a ventilator. His condition is stable. He is improving gradually,” he said.

E. Theranirajan, dean of RGGGH was present.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 8:42:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/health-minister-gets-vaccinated-state-to-get-additional-doses-of-covaxin-today/article33633194.ece

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