Health Minister KK Shylaja said that the Centre had officially informed that 4,33,500 (four lakh thirty-three thousand five hundred) doses of COVID vaccine would reach Kerala in the first stage.
This first lot, which is expected to arrive on January 13, will have Covishield vaccines developed by the Serum Institute of India, Pune, which is similar to the Oxford vaccine developed by the Oxford University vaccine group. Each Covishield dose is said to cost Rs 200, which will be offered free to states in the initial phase.
"The vaccines will first reach the regional vaccine stores in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode," the minister said in an official release on Tuesday. Ernakulam will receive the most number of doses (1,80,000), followed by Thiruvananthapuram (1,34,000) and Kozhikode (1,19,500). From the vaccines that reach Kozhikode, 1,100 does are to be used in Mahe, part of the Union Territory of Puducherry.
"Special arrangements have been made for the transport of the vaccines to the designated areas," the minister said.
In the first stage, vaccination will be held on January 16 in 133 centres in Kerala. Till now, 3,62,870 people have registered for the vaccination. Of this, 1,70,259 are from the government sector and the remaining 1,92,611 are from the private sector.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are two key reasons to get vaccinated: to protect ourselves and to protect those around us. Because not everyone can be vaccinated – including very young babies, those who are seriously ill or have certain allergies – they depend on others being vaccinated to ensure they are also safe from vaccine-preventable diseases.