Kerala stares at COVID vaccine shortage; several camps to remain shut today

Photo: Manorama

The COVID vaccination drive in Kerala is likely to take a hit as Health Minister Veena George has informed that the State is out of vaccines.

Vaccination camps in several districts including Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam will be shut until more vaccines are secured from the Centre.

"Several districts in Kerala will not have vaccination camps on Tuesday as the State has run out of vaccine stock and is awaiting more supplies from the Centre," Health Minister Veena George told reporters on Monday.

Everyone has a right to get vaccinated. Efforts are on to secure more vaccines from the Centre, the minister assured.

According to the minister, about 76 per cent of people above 45-years in Kerala have got the first dose of the vaccine while 35 per cent of people above the age of 35 have got the second dose.

Stellar vaccination rate

"Our vaccination rate is beyond 100 per cent and there is zero wastage of vaccine in the state," she added.

Kerala has so far received around 1.66 crore doses and the health department was able to administer vaccines to around 1.87 crore people.

"In Wayanad and Kasaragod districts, the vaccination rate of those above 45 years is 100 per cent," she added.

On Saturday, more than 4.5 lakh people were vaccinated in Kerala, a first for the state, and with this, more than 16 lakh were administered the vaccine last week alone.

No vaccines until Thursday

The State is unlikely to get vaccines until Thursday.

The Centre has already informed that the next lot of vaccines to Kerala will only be sent on July 29.

Kerala requires 60 lakh vaccine doses for August.

According to an ICMR survey, 57 per cent of people in Kerala have managed to not contract COVID.

However, with many variants of COVID now raging across India, it is likely that a serious wave could significantly hamper the good work done so far.

"As per the Serosurveillance report by the union government, only 42 per cent of people have antibodies, which means there are chances that over 50 per cent of people may get infected. This shows the importance of vaccination," Health Minister Veena George said.

The Kerala government is wary of this. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his intervention in the matter.

The numbers

Over 1.48 crore persons above the age of 18 years are still waiting for the first dose in Kerala.

Similarly, 27 lakh people above the age of 45 are yet to be given the first dose.

About 79 lakh people in this age group who got their first jab now waits for the second dose.

There are a total of 1.13 crore people in this age group. Of the 1.5 crore people in the age group of 18-44, 29 lakh have received their first dose.

Only 2.5 lakh people in this category have received both doses.

COVID threat persists

Kerala reported 11,586 new COVID cases and 14,912 recoveries on Monday.

With this, the number of active COVID cases in the state fell to 1,36,814.

So far, 31,29,628 have been cured of the disease.

Transmission and TPR

Malappuram, Thrissur, Kozhikode reported the most cases on Monday - 1779, 1498 and 1264 cases respectively.

Of the new cases, 10,943 contracted the virus through contact while 45 came from outside the state and 64 are healthcare workers.

The test positivity rate (TPR) in the state is 10.59.

There are 271 local bodies in the state with a TPR of above 15 per cent.

Only 73 local bodies have managed to contain the TPR under 5 per cent.

There are 335 local bodies with TPR between 5 and 10, and 355 local bodies with TPR between 10 and 15.

COVID deaths, quarantine and testing

A total of 135 COVID deaths too were confirmed on Monday.

With this, the COVID death toll in the state rose to 16,170.

A total of 1,07,096 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.

So far, 2,63,57,662 samples have been sent for testing.

There are currently 4,33,215 people under observation across the state.

Of them, 4,07,102 are under home or institutional quarantine while 26,113 are in hospitals.

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