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85 pc of eligible citizens yet to take booster dose

While the State health department has started conducting special vaccination camps to administer precautionary booster doses every Thursday, only about 19,800 doses of vaccines could be administered last Thursday. The first vaccination camp saw 50,598 people getting the precautionary booster jab, but the numbers have come down significantly since then.

85 pc of eligible citizens yet to take booster dose
Representative image


The State health department officials emphasize the need for awareness on the administration of the precautionary booster dose. “There are about 35 lakh people eligible for the booster dose, depending on the date of administration of the first dose, and including 20.25 lakh elderly people aged 65 plus with comorbidities, 5.75 lakh healthcare workers and about nine lakh frontline workers. However, only about 5.32 lakh doses of precautionary booster dose have been administered in the State so far,” said Dr Vinay Kumar, State Immunisation Officer, Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

Earlier, Health Minister Ma Subramanian had urged the people eligible for booster doses to get vaccinated as more people would be eligible for the precautionary dose in the coming days. While the vaccination drive picked up slow in Tamil Nadu last year, the number of vaccinations increased since March.

The number of the eligible population for the booster dose would be around 50 lakh by next month. The State health department officials say that currently only about 15 per cent of the eligible population for booster doses have been vaccinated, from the date of the first dose of the vaccine, while many are unaware of the same. Meanwhile, there are delays in second dose administration which affects the eligibility as well.

“The number of healthcare workers and frontline workers getting vaccinated against COVID-19 generally and for the third precautionary booster dose is satisfactory. But the number of elderly aged 65 years and above with comorbidities are comparatively less, though they form the highest number of the eligible population for the booster dose,” said Dr Vinay.

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