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After mass inoculation drive, vaccine stock runs out in Kerala

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 27, 2021

The next batch from the Centre is expected on Thursday.

Kerala has run out of the Covid-19 vaccine as it was priming up to accelerate the inoculation drive through the mass campaign. State Health Minister Veena George has said that the stock is just enough to manage a day’s requirement following the latest mass vaccination drive last weekend.

The state administered a record 4.88 lakh doses on Saturday and 1.87 lakh on Monday, leaving the districts such as Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Thrissur, and Kozhikode scraping the bottom of the barrel. According to the Centre’s vaccine despatch schedule, the state cannot receive the next batch earlier than Thursday.

Seeks 60 lakh doses for August

This would mean that the vaccination drive would grind to a halt for the next two days, the minister said. The state had requested 60 lakh doses for August. It needs to be prioritised if only for the revelations made in ICMR’s latest seroprevalence study which makes it unique , she added.

The state received the maximum vaccine supply from the Centre last week, which helped inoculate over 18 lakh between June 18 and 24. Against the 60 lakh doses for August, the Centre had promised only 30 lakh, with 22 lakh reserved for the second dose. That leaves only eight lakh in the first dose for over one crore in the queue.

Seroprevalence study

According to this seroprevalence study, over 50 per cent of the state’s population is still susceptible to the Covid-19 virus, The state had received 1.66 crore doses in all from the Centre, with which as many as 1.87 crore had been inoculated, with zero wastage, even by using the embedded ‘extra dose.’

In the 45-plus age group, 76 per cent of the target population had been given the first dose and 35 per cent, the second dose. In the districts of Kasaragod and Wayanad, 100 per cent of the target population above 45 years had been administered the first dose of vaccine, the minister said.

First dose to 36.95 per cent

Earlier in the Assembly, replying to a calling attention motion by Saneeshkumar Joseph, the minister said that population-wise, the state has administered the first dose to 36.95 per cent and the second dose to 16.01 per cent, which was much above the national average of 26 per cent and seven per cent.

All healthcare workers and front-line workers had received the first doses, and it is only because of the longer inter-dosage interval of 12 weeks that their second dose coverage has languished at 82 per cent.

In the 18-45 age group, for whom vaccination was opened up on June 21, 21 per cent received the first dose, and the majority were not due for the second dose.

Published on July 27, 2021

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