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With cases rising, vaccination hesitancy worries TN

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on April 03, 2021

On Friday, low turnout was worrying considering the increasing cases

The second phase of Covid-19 vaccination in Tamil Nadu, which started on a high note from March 1, has slowed considerably in the last four days.

On Friday, the vaccination hit a low of 60,725 from a peak of 1.52 lakh reported on March 22 but improved to 65,783 on Saturday. This was despite opening up the inoculation for all those above 45 years. The low turnout is worrying considering that Covid-19 cases have been rising steadily in the State in the last few days.

There is no specific reason for the low vaccination numbers, said a senior government official involved in the vaccination drive. The State government has created over 5,000 vaccine centres. Awareness has been created on the need to take the vaccine. But people are not coming forward to take the shots.

“We can do only to a certain extent. It is up to the citizens to decide to take the shot or not. We cannot drag themto take shots,” he said.

People seem to still believe fake social media posts and fear taking the vaccine. They should read authenticated websites or consult doctors, and not get carried away by fake and misleading social media posts, he added. As on Saturday, 32.41 lakh people have got their jab. Of this, 10.2 lakh were over 60 years and 8.61 lakh between 45 and 60 years and the rest are frontline and health-care workers.

There is no shortage of vaccine. So far, Tamil Nadu has received 39.73 lakh vaccine doses and is expected to receive another batch soon, he said.

“We need to shift from a passive approach where we wait for people to come to vaccination clinics to an active approach where health workers talk to the eligible people at the community level, address their concerns and mobilise them to the nearest possible vaccination sites,” said Prabhdeep Kaur, ICMR scientist, in a tweet.

Tamil Nadu reported 3,446 Covid-19 cases on Saturday to a total of 8,96,226. However, after 1,834 persons were discharged, the number of active cases stood at 20,204.

There were 14 deaths and 82,078 samples tested.

Day

Vaccination provided

April 3

65,783

April 2

60,726

April 1

82,992

March 31

79,320

March 30

78,603

March 29

1,19,885

March 28

n/a

March 27

1,05,814

March 26

1,08,612

March 25

98,949

March 24

94,341

March 23

1,05,157

March 22

1,52,634

March 21

1,21,471

Source - Tamil Nadu Health Ministry.

Published on April 03, 2021

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