Tamil Nadu

Nearly 57% health workers fully vaccinated

About 57% healthcare workers (HCW) and 45% frontline workers (FLW) have been fully vaccinated in Tamil Nadu. Officials said while some remaining HCWs and FLWs might not have reached the due date for their second dose of vaccines, the Health Department was stepping up efforts by reaching out to those due for their second jab.

The demand for COVID-19 vaccines picked up slowly after immunisation was rolled out on January 16 for the priority group of HCWs, followed by FLWs, such as the police, revenue and local administration employees.

According to data from the Health Department, 9,40,632 HCWs and 12,03,401 FLWs have been registered for vaccination.

Nearly 57% health workers fully vaccinated

Archiving the data

An archiving exercise to remove ineligible persons (such as those included as HCWs or FLWs by mistake when the list was uploaded in bulk) was taken up, following which the total beneficiaries stood at 6,63,811 HCWs and 10,19,434 FLWs.

Of these, 86.98% HCWs — 5,77,370 people — received the first dose. Among the enlisted FLWs, 9,03,911 got their first dose, registering an 88.67% coverage.

Of these, 3,30,398 HCWs and 4,12,375 FLWs received their second dose, recording 57.22% and 45.62% coverage respectively till June 22.

“We have reached sufficient coverage of HCWs and FLWs. I feel we should have covered this priority group a little earlier,” T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said.

While a considerable number of people are yet to take their second dose, the directorate is all set to reach out to those due.

“We are in the process of demand generation by sharing the line list of beneficiaries on social media, with a request to them to approach the vaccination centre where they took their first dose. This is in addition to the efforts made by our district teams, where they are proactively calling beneficiaries due for their second dose,” he said.

The official said, “There is no specific reason as per our understanding. People need to be a little more serious in completing their second dose and they should understand that they get sufficient immunity only after taking two doses. Our district teams have already been instructed to give priority to second doses.”

Doctors say vaccination has helped in more than one way for many. At the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, 57%-80% of healthcare workers — all categories including doctors and nurses — have been fully vaccinated, its Dean E. Theranirajan said.

In an analysis of 51 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 after vaccination, doctors found that 46 of them had received a single dose and the remaining five got both. “All of them made a complete recovery. This shows that vaccination prevents deaths due to COVID-19. In our experience, we found that those vaccinated had shorter hospitalisations and the progression of disease was not as fast as among the unvaccinated. In addition, the transition from illness to recovery was smooth, even if they had co-morbidities,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 5:18:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/nearly-57-health-workers-fully-vaccinated/article34941340.ece

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