THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala on Friday said the pace of COVID-19 vaccination in the state has come down drastically due to the limited supply and urged the Centre to take measures to ensure continuous supply of shots.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state was doing 2.5 lakh vaccinations per day when the vaccine supply was regular.
"Now due to the limited supply, we are not able to fully utilize the potential of our system. The pace of coverage has drastically come down. People are also apprehensive of the slow pace of vaccination drive," he said and urged the Prime Minister to take measures for continuous supply of vaccines, so that the balance vaccines can be supplied, matching with the pace of Kerala's vaccination potential.
He said Kerala has been able to cover only 49 per cent of its 1.3 crore population above 45 years with at least one dose of vaccine.
"One half the population of persons above the age of 45 are yet to be covered with at least one dose. Only 22 per cent of those who received the first dose have received the second dose so far," Vijayan said.
He said the state so far has received only 85,47,930 doses of COVID vaccine and is expected to receive another 5.28 lakhs as per the fortnight schedule shared by the Ministry.
The chief minister said in the case of the 18-44 years group, the state has a total of 1.5 crores beneficiaries.
"Based on this target and our action plan, we had placed a purchase order for one crore doses of COVID vaccine for the month of May 2021, but we have received only 8.84 lakh," he said.
Because of this limited supply, the state has been forced not to open vaccination for all, the Chief Minister said.
"Instead, we have made priority groups and are now giving vaccines to those with comorbidities and certain frontline categories only. So far, 57,666 doses have been administered in this category," he said in the letter.