Vaccination drive loses steam as focus shifts to ULB polls

Though special vaccination drives were planned to be held across the State on Thursdays, the performance dropped to less than half this month, from 3.03 doses administered on February 3 to just 1.4 lakh on February 10. It has gone down further to 1,13,311 on Thursday, the last day of the campaign, with many sites remaining empty.
Vaccination drive loses steam as focus shifts to ULB polls
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Chennai

Vaccination drive against Covid has taken a back seat in Tamil Nadu due to the focus on urban local body elections, with the number of daily doses dropping significantly in the last few days.
Though special vaccination drives were planned to be held across the State on Thursdays, the performance dropped to less than half this month, from 3.03 doses administered on February 3 to just 1.4 lakh on February 10. It has gone down further to 1,13,311 on Thursday, the last day of the campaign, with many sites remaining empty.
Healthcare workers said the sites are seeing less number of participants on Thursdays, as few are aware of the mega drive.
“If the special camps were continued for a month and the booster dose was emphasized during the drive, the outcome would have been better. However, with the upcoming elections, the attention on vaccination drive has reduced. But we are hopeful that it will pick up after the elections,” said R Elizabeth, one of the healthcare workers at a vaccination site in SIDCO Nagar, Villivakkam.
The number of vaccination sites during the mega drive has also fallen since last week, as many healthcare workers have been deployed on election work. Also, the drive has been postponed for next week due to elections.
When asked, State Health Department officials said the vaccination drive would be back to normal from the next week.
“The numbers have reduced to some extent, as some vaccination sites have been reduced because of the workforce being deployed for election-related works. However, the schedule would go back to normal after elections. The 24/7 camps and other vaccination sites at government hospitals and district headquarters hospital are continuing it,” said Dr Vinay Kumar, State Immunisation Officer, Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

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