CHENNAI: Despite free precautionary booster dose vaccination against Covid being administered across the State, the vaccination coverage stands at about 12.7 per cent only. The state health department officials say that intensive campaign is being planned to improve the coverage.
The department is planning to undertake awareness campaign further to promote the administration of precautionary booster dose in the State. As part of the campaign, influencers such as TV and movie stars would be roped in to promote the booster dose vaccination against Covid.
The mega vaccination camps and increase in the number of cases of Covid last month led to an improvement in the vaccinations. But, officials say that the decline in the number of Covid cases has also led to low vaccination coverage as people are not coming forward to get vaccinated.
"The targetted population of booster dose is about 4 crores, but only 51.69 precautionary booster doses have been administered so far. After the Union Government's approval, vaccination is being administered free to all the eligible people, but the response is not very good," said Dr Vinay Kumar, State Immunisation Officer, Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
As per the state health department records, 4.39 crore people above 18 years who have received two doses of Covid, would be eligible for booster dose until September 30th, 2022. However, with the current vaccination rate, the numbers seem to barely cross 25-30 per cent by the month end.
Health experts advocate the administration of booster dose against Covid as it protects against different variants of the infection and can reduce the severity of the infection.