THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even with the most prudent use, the first batch of Covid vaccine – 4,33,500 doses – that arrived at the three regional vaccine stores in the state on Wednesday would be sufficient only for 2,16,500 beneficiaries of the 3,68,866 persons who have registered for the vaccine so far.
The reason: Each person requires two doses of the vaccine, with the second jab scheduled four weeks after the first. So, in a bid to ensure that a person who is vaccinated on January 16 and subsequent days does not miss out on the second dose, the Health Department has decisded to use the 4,33,500 doses for the first and second round of vaccination of a person.
This means at least 1.5 lakh people of the 3.68 lakh people who registered will not get the vaccine from the first consignment and will have to wait for the next round of distribution. The health department expects more vaccine consignments to arrive in the state soon.
“The decision to use the vaccine from the first consignment for both rounds of a person’s vaccination has been taken on the directive of the Centre. Some countries had faced issues in providing the second dose on time,” said a health department official.
The list of people who are scheduled to be vaccinated at present includes health workers from government and private institutions, sanitation workers, ambulance drivers and canteen staff. The Centre is procuring 110 lakh doses of Covishield developed by Pune-based Serum Institute of India and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.
More vaccination centres soon
The health department will add more vaccination centres after the initial days of the drive’s launch on Saturday, said an officer. At present, there are 133 vaccination centres in the state. They include public health centres, community health centres, general hospitals, medical colleges and private hospitals. “Though each centre can vaccinate 100 people per day, some of them will be wound up in the absence of enough number of registrations.
However, we can start new centres for the convenience of beneficiaries,” said the officer. He said the general hospital and MCH in Thiruvananthapuram are likely to get vaccinations centres by Monday. The two hospitals were not in the list of centres selected for the launch of the vaccination drive. The department has also prepared an elaborate list of over 3,000 centres for the second stage of vaccination.
TPR remains below 9%
T’Puram: The state on Wednesday recorded its highest sample processing numbers since November 19, with 69,081 samples tested. As many as 6,004 more people contracted Covid-19, while 5,158 people recovered. Of the new cases, 5,401 were infected due to local contact, 447 had unknown sources of infection, 73 were returnees and 53 were health workers. With one more case, the number of UK returnees who tested positive so far climbed to 56. The daily TPR was 8.69 per cent. The deaths of 26 more people were confirmed as due to Covid.