HYDERABAD: Even as the nation has begun offering free vaccinations to people above the age of 18 at government centres, Telangana remains an outlier. The State has decided to continue vaccinating high-risk groups on priority and has not opened up vaccination drives to all. While this move is widely appreciated, the younger population in several districts continue to remain largely unvaccinated, owing to the dearth of private vaccination centres in their vicinity and because the government has not expanded high-risk categories in these areas.
For instance, in Mulugu district, only seven per cent of the total vaccine administered has been given to the 18-44 age-group. “We have completed vaccinating priority groups, which include employees of the Agriculture Department, journalists, postal staff, bankers etc,” said a senior district official.
Telangana faces lack of private vaccination centres
Individuals in the 18-44 age group have just been given 5,693 doses of the 71,504 vaccine doses administered in Mulugu district, as per the State government’s Cowin Dashboard. There are a total of two lakh individuals in the 18-44 age group in Mulugu alone, who could not be vaccinated as they don’t belong to high-risk categories and have no access to private vaccination centres. Similarly, nearly 10 other districts in the State still don’t have private vaccination centers.
This includes Mahabubabad, Nagarkurnool, Adilabad, Asifabad, Yadadri, Medak, Gadwal, Wanaparthy and Jangaon. In all these districts, only 10-24 per cent of all the doses administered have been given to the 18-44 group.
“In our experience, several people in the said age group are very keen on getting the vaccine. We had even made a list of nearly 9,000 such youth in Kothagudem district. Unfortunately, the drive is not open to them. The government must expand the priority groups or open up vaccination drives for the younger population in the districts,” said Sai Charan Chikulla, a Covid-19 volunteer.
2 L from 18-44 age group in Mulugu Haven’t got jabs
There are a total of two lakh individuals in the 18-44 agegroup in Mulugu alone, who could not be vaccinated because neither do they belong to highrisk categories, nor do they have access to private Covid vaccination centres