CHENNAI: Public representatives, including mediapersons, in Tamil Nadu will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccination by the end of February, according to officials of the health department. Sources said the vaccination drive (for mediapersons and public representatives) would begin between next week and the end of the month.
“We are presently observing the number of vaccination beneficiaries every day, and want to ensure most beneficiaries from the vulnerable category among healthcare and frontline workers get vaccinated before moving to the next group,” an official said. The official added that some of those who had enrolled — mostly young and middle-aged people — who did not avail the vaccine so far would be pushed into the ‘general public’ category.
Officials said many photojournalists are at a high risk and the vaccination for mediapersons is being started early in the State. Meanwhile, on a day when Tamil Nadu recorded 471 new Covid cases and three deaths, it also crossed the 1,50,000-mark in terms of people vaccinated. On Saturday, Black Cats of the National Security Guard (NSG) were vaccinated at the Nandhivaram Public Health Centre in Chengalpet.
Speaking to Express, Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said vaccination is important to fight diseases and just because the number of cases has reduced, people must not play down the importance of vaccines. “Vaccination is being taken lightly. I appeal to everyone to ignore such things and understand that vaccination is very important. Vaccination numbers must go up in the State,” said Radhakrishnan.
He added that as TN had six holidays in January, vaccination numbers went down, but he expects the numbers to rise in the coming days. The State’s case tally stands at 8,41,326, while 8,24,527 people have been discharged. The number of active cases is 4,417. The health secretary said he told all district officials to encourage their staff to come forward to get vaccinated.