From January 18, Monday, COVID-19 vaccination will be administered four days a week; on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There will be no vaccination on Wednesday as the day is set apart for the routine immunisation of kids across Kerala.
Health Minister K K Shailaja said that no side effects had been reported in any of the 8,062 health workers who were vaccinated on January 16, Saturday, the first day of the vaccination programme. To remove concerns regarding the vaccination, the minister said that the Health Department director, the Health Education director, the Malabar Cancer Centre director and top cardiology surgeons had taken the vaccine.
The plan is to vaccinate 100 people a day in 133 centres across Kerala – 13,300 people a day. "Since the vaccination in certain small centres had been fully completed on January 16 itself, districts would open new centres," Shailaja said.
For instance, new centres would begin functioning in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College from January 18, and Thiruvananthapuram General Hospital from January 19. Further, new centres would be opened in Pulluvila Primary Health Centre and Anchuthengu Community Health Centre, both coastal regions.
"These new centres will be opened as the vaccination process has been completed in places like Poozhanad, Manambur and Varkala (in Thiruvananthapuram district)," the minister said.
Ernakulam will have the highest number of vaccination centres – 12. Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode will have 11 each. The remaining 11 districts will have nine centres each. The minister said there would be a higher rush in certain centres like medical colleges than in others like PHCs and CHCs.
The timing of the process will be the same as on the first day: from 9am to 5pm. The registered person would get an SMS alert of the place of the vaccination. "On the basis of this, they can fix a time to reach the centre," the minister said. The vaccinated person will have to remain under observation at the centre for 30 minutes.
All the 133 vaccination centres have been equipped with Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) kits. Ambulances services will also be kept ready.
The minister said that, at the moment, health workers were being vaccinated. "After their turn, it would be other frontline COVID-19 workers like the police, Revenue Department officials involved in COVID-19 prevention activities, municipal workers asnd anganwadi workers," the minister said.
The Centre had officially informed that 4,33,500 (four lakh thirty three thousand five hundred) doses of vaccine would reach Kerala in the first stage. The first lot, which arrived on January 13, were 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.
Ernakulam had received the most number of doses (1,80,000), followed by Thiruvananthapuram (1,34,000) and Kozhikode (1,19,500). 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.