Cold response to Covid boosters in Kerala as fourth wave lurks

Only 18,500 jabs given to people in 45-59 age group in two weeks 

Published: 28th April 2022 06:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th April 2022 06:46 AM   |  A+A-

COVID-19, COVID test, Coronavirus

Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo| PTI)

Express News Service

KOCHI: People in the state do not seem too eager to get booster vaccine shots against Covid as compared to the rush during the first and second doses. IN the two weeks since booster doses were made available for adults, only around 18,500 jabs have been administered in the 45-59 age group. 

According to doctors, there are very few takers for booster doses. Parents too seem reluctant to vaccinate their children, they say. Among those in the 18-44 age group, 2,233 have taken booster doses, while the target population in the category is 1.34 crore. Reinfection despite taking both doses, paid doses in government facilities and double-vaccinated people being not too keen on boosters seem to be the main reasons for this reluctance, opine experts. All adults (aged above 18) were allowed to take boosters from April 10.

“The number of vaccination centres and the timings had to be limited at both government and private hospitals due to lack of takers. The rush at the hospitals for Covid vaccination has significantly come down. Some major hospitals are only providing Covid vaccination three days a week. One of the main reasons for the reluctance is the reported incidence of reinfection even in those who were fully vaccinated,” said Dr Monu Varghese, pulmonologist based in Kochi.

As per the health department data, 14,79,965 booster doses have been administered as of Tuesday. In the case of children, 80% of those in the 15-17 age category have taken the first dose, while 49% have been fully vaccinated. Among the 12-14 age group, 18,095 doses have been administered.

With the fourth wave around the corner, there has been a slight increase in the demand for booster doses over the last few days. “The booster doses for frontline health workers and senior citizens had begun in January. In the initial phase, there were many takers for the preventive doses, especially from those with comorbidities. Later, the interest slackened, with many considering it optional. However, with the advent of the XE variant and the number of Covid cases increasing in the state, people have started to take preventive doses,” said a former member with the state Covid task force.

Meanwhile, parents are still reluctant to administer Covid vaccines to their children, as many believe that they are the least affected lot. “In a majority of cases, children did not have any serious health issues due to the infection. Therefore, for the time being, we are delaying taking the vaccine for our kids,” said Geetha S, resident of Malappuram and a parent of two daughters studying in Classes 6 and 8.


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