Amid Covid spurt, vaccine drive slows down in Kerala

Relaxation in rules, lower testing and mild infection are considered reasons for people skipping jabs

Published: 30th June 2022 06:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2022 06:44 AM   |  A+A-

Covid, Coronavirus, Covid vaccine, Monoclonal antibody therapy

Image for representational purpose only. ( File Photo)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The spurt in Covid cases has not resulted in a commensurate demand for vaccines. Rather the vaccination centres are seeing lower footfalls. While over 1 lakh doses were provided every day in the week leading up to June 1, average daily vaccination has now come down to just 18,000, according to the health department data.

The relaxation in rules, lower testing and mild infection are considered as the reasons for people skipping the jabs. However, the health department data shows the coronavirus infection is very much present, with the test positivity rate (TPR) touching 18%. The daily Covid case count -- that used to hover around 700-800 before June — has crossed the 4,000-mark in the third week of the month.

Given the rise in Covid cases, the health department carried out drives to improve coverage. However, it has found that over 30 lakh people in the age-group of 18 and above have skipped the second dose. “The state comes 15th in terms of complete vaccination coverage among populous states. A large section of people have stayed away from taking a second dose. If a new variant emerges in the meantime, it can create trouble for people who are partially vaccinated,” said health department official N C Krishnaprasad, who has been tracking the Covid data closely.

 “Private hospitals have a stock of over 2 lakh doses. Most centres provide 10 to 12 doses every day. The demand hasn’t improved despite the fact that the infection has started affecting the elderly, children and pregnant women,” said Dr E K Ramachandran, state treasurer, Kerala Private Hospital Association.Private hospitals have asked the Serum Institute of India, the makers of Covishield, to provide an extended expiry date for the stock expiring in September.


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