CHENNAI: Of those eligible for the Covid-19 booster dose in Tamil Nadu, as of Saturday, only 12.74% have taken the shot, as per data from the Directorate of Public Health (DPH). Public health experts emphasised the need to raise awareness and vaccinate high-risk people, such as those with comorbidities and the elderly, on a priority basis.
According to the data, among the 4,05,63,607 people eligible for the booster dose till August 20, the State vaccinated only 51,69,261 (12.74%). Health experts attribute the snail’s pace in vaccination to the public dropping their guard against Covid-19.
Former director of public health Dr K Kolandaswamy said the government should list the unvaccinated people and send volunteers from door-to-door to educate people on the importance of taking the booster dose. Though the impact of Covid-19 on most people is mild, concern has been raised over long-term complications. So, people should take the precautionary dose at least to prevent these complications, which could be cardiac and respiratory problems, he added.
Noted virologist Dr T Jacob John said Covid-19 is going to be around forever, and people should understand this and continue to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour like wearing face masks, and getting booster doses.
People living with HIV, tuberculosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and other comorbidities are at a risk. At least two booster doses are needed for these people, and those above the age of 70 years are also vulnerable, Dr John said.
Meanwhile, Director of Public Health Dr T S Selvavinayagam said, “People are not coming forward to get the booster dose. We can only request. We have sufficient stock.” The health department on Sunday conducted its 34th Covid-19 mega vaccination camp. Till 5.33 pm, it vaccinated 11,95,041 people, of which 1,18,188 received the first dose and 7,89,389 received the precautionary dose.