Health Minister K. K. Shylaja has written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, asking for additional vaccine stocks to vaccinate the third priority group (those above 50 years with chronic diseases) and seeking another opportunity for the vaccination of those health workers who missed the registration deadline.
Though the majority of health workers in the State had registered their names for receiving the vaccine within the allocated timeline, some had missed the initial deadline for registration. They should be allowed a slot for registering themselves again, she said.
Ms. Shylaja said that Kerala had the highest proportion of elderly in the country. She appealed to the Centre to expedite the registration of the third priority group for vaccination and to issue the necessary guidelines without delay. She also appealed to Dr. Harsh Vardhan to provide additional stocks for vaccinating those above 50 years.
Though a total of 3,57,797 health workers had registered for the first phase in Kerala, this target had to be re-fixed after dropping pregnant women, those with serious health or allergy issues and those who refused to take the vaccine.
Of this re-fixed target group of health workers, 94 % or 3,36,327 persons had received the vaccine. Also, 23,707 health workers had received their second shot of the vaccine.
Among frontline workers, who are the second priority group, though 1,44,003 had been registered, only 38% or 57,678 persons had been administered the vaccine.
Ms. Shylaja reminded the Union Health Minister that according to the ICMR sero prevalence study, a chunk of the population in Kerala was still susceptible to the virus.