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Coronavirus | TN, Puducherry, Punjab report lowest vaccine numbers

A healthcare worker sites in the observation room after receiving COVID-19 vaccine in Ahmedabad on January 19, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Punjab have so far registered the lowest coverage of COVID vaccination, with India reporting 0.18% Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) and 0.002% hospitalisation till now, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. The three States recorded 34.9%, 34.6% and 27.6% coverage respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, Lakshadweep (89.3%), Sikkim (85.7%), Odisha (82.6%), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (81.9%), Telangana (81.1%), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (80.8%), Arunachal Pradesh (75.4%), U.P. (71.4%) and Rajasthan (71.3%) have registered a good response.

Also read: Coronavirus | Over six lakh vaccinated so far

“We are in constant touch with all these States that have registered below 50% uptake to address various issues that they may be facing including technology glitches or vaccine hesitancy,”said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at the briefing. “We have seen vaccine hesitancy during polio, measles etc and this isn’t a new phenomenon. We will address this through dialogue and ensuring that the concerns are cleared.”

While the Health Ministry noted that Indian regulators are now looking at trial approvals for a possible nasal vaccine for COVID, V.K. Paul, member (Health) with NITI Aayog said, “people will not be fulfilling their societal responsibility if a vaccine brought to them is not being taken.”

Also read: Coronavirus | Vaccine dilemma — to take or not to take Covaxin

“The concerns about adverse effects and serious problems as of now, because of the vaccine, seem to be insignificant. Data show that we are in a comfortable situation and we would like to reassure you that the two vaccines are safe. The whole world is clamouring for the vaccine. I request the doctors and nurses to accept the vaccine,’’ he said adding that vaccine hesitancy should be extinguished.

The Health Ministry also noted that each vaccination centre across the country is mapped to record AEFI. “The State-level AEFI committees recently met in U.P. and Karnataka, where deaths were reported, following vaccination, but found that the deaths were not related to vaccination,” said Mr. Bhushan.

The Health Secretary added that there is a system in place to ensure a follow-up for the people in adverse-event cases. “For Covishield vaccine recipients there is passive monitoring, the onus is on the beneficiary to report any adverse event. In the case of Covaxin, there is active follow-up. A doctor rings you up on daily basis,” he said.

“Vaccines,’’ he said are distributed to the States based on the proportion in which the Union Government gets the supplies. “Also which vaccine will goes to which vaccination site — this decision is left entirely to the States,” he added.

Also speaking at the briefing, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava said, “As we approach the half a million number of vaccinations it is clear that both the COVID vaccines are very safe”.

“Vaccine does not cause COVID-19, it prevents COVID-19 and it prevents COVID-19 deaths. Time to take the vaccine is now, we can break the chain of transmission,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, India on Tuesday reported a total of 10,064 daily new COVID cases in the last 24 hours with 141 persons found positive so far with UK strain of COVID-19.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday said the number of daily COVID cases has fallen to this level after seven months. The daily new cases were 10,956 on 12th June, 2020 and India’s total active caseload has dropped to 2 lakh (2,00,528) currently.The country has recorded less than 140 fatalities (137 fatalities) in the last 24 hours after approximately eight months, added the Ministry.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 10:27:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tn-puducherry-punjab-report-lowest-vaccine-numbers/article33611853.ece

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