Kerala urges Centre to release more COVID-19 vaccine doses

COVID-19 vaccine
A nurse getting her dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the first phase of the inculcation drive in Kerala. File photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has asked the Centre to release more doses of COVID 19 vaccine to the state and sought permission for health workers, who missed the opportunity, to register again to receive the shot.

State Health Minister K K Shailaja shot off a letter to her counterpart at the Centre, Harsh Vardhan in this regard.

Though most of the health workers in the state registered within the stipulated time, a few of them could not, she stated in the letter adding that they should be given a chance to register again.

More doses of vaccine should be provided for the vaccination of the third priority group – those aged above 50 years, the minister said.

Pointing out that Kerala has the highest elderly population in the country, Shailaja wanted the Health Ministry to issue immediate guidelines on the registration and vaccination of the third priority group and provide adequate additional doses of vaccine for them.

So far, 3,36,327 (94 per cent of the revised target) health workers and 57,658 frontline fighters (38 per cent) have received the first dose of COVID 19 vaccine in the state.

In addition, 23,707 health workers have got the second dose also, she said.

Noting that Kerala had taken effective steps to check the widespread of the pandemic, Shailaja said the recent ICMR Zero Surveillance study has found that only very few people in the state were infected by the viral infection.

Well-coordinated activities and interventions had helped the state to put up a good fight against the disease, she added in the letter.

In the last four weeks in Kerala, the average weekly cases have fluctuated between a high of 42,000 and a low of 34,800.

Similarly, in the last four weeks, the weekly positivity in Kerala has ranged from 13.9 per cent to 8.9 per cent.

In Kerala, Alappuzha district is a cause of special concern where the weekly positivity rate has increased to 10.7 per cent and weekly cases have increased to 2,833, the ministry underlined.

Kerala on Saturday registered 4,650 new COVID-19 cases and 13 related deaths taking the total number of those affected in the state by the deadly virus to 10.30 lakh.

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