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Covid : State launches six-day vaccination drive as cases shot up

- June 16, 2022

Thiruvananthapuram, June 15 (BPNS)

With the state’s Covid-19 case graph registering a steep increase, the health department has decided to focus on improving the vaccination coverage. As a first step, it has decided to organize a six-day vaccination campaign to boost the precaution dose coverage. The campaign will get kick-started on Thursday. The department has also warned about the declining compliance to wearing a facemask and adhering Covid appropriate behavior in the state. As per stats, only 22 percent of the population who are above 18 years of age have taken the precautionary dose.

“There is no vaccine shortage in the state. Also, vaccination at doorstep will be provided to palliative care patients who are above 60 years, bedridden patients, and those residing at old age homes,” said Veena George, health minister.

She said this after chairing a high-level meeting that assessed the Covid and other viral disease situations in the state.

“Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Kozhikode, and Thrissur has the most caseload, all other districts were asked to be on alert. It’s the sub-lineages of Omicron that have resulted in the sudden surge of cases. Though it’s not that fatal it has the capability of spreading rapidly among the population,” added Veena.

The minister also added that those who are eligible for a precautionary dose should take that immediately. It’s learned that the department will soon devise a plan to identify those who had to take the second as well as precautionary doses at the panchayath level itself.

However, infectious disease expert Dr Ishwar Gilada said that the vaccination campaign is just a knee-jerk response and such strategies are half-hearted ones.

“You are adding district after district. This will not help. The concerned should consider reducing the gap for the third dose to six months. Along with that vaccination among those below 18 years of age should have to be expedited. Also, precautionary doses will have to be provided free of cost,” said Ishwar.