Elders, persons with comorbidities in Dakshina Kannada urged to get vaccinated

The Dakshina Kannada district administration on Friday urged senior citizens, who constitute about 10% of the district’s population, and persons aged between 45 and 59 with comorbidities to get COVID-19 vaccination.

Speaking to reporters here, Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra said that over 80% of the 741 people who have died of COVID-19 in the district were aged above 45 and had comorbidities. As such, it is always advisable for people in these two categories to undergo vaccination, he said, adding that no adverse effects have been reported in the State.

District Health Officer Ramachandra Bairy said vaccination was being provided free of cost at 66 primary health centres (100 per day), 10 urban health centres (100), four taluk hospitals (200), six community health centres (150), and at the Government Wenlock Hospital (300). Besides, vaccination is also available at eight medical college hospitals (up to 500 a day) and Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka-empanelled hospitals on payment of ₹250. There is no rush at all these centres and people can either register beforehand or walk in directly to get inoculated, Dr. Bairy said.

To a question, Dr. Rajendra and Dr. Bairy said the vaccine would be effective up to six months from the date of getting the second dose. As many as 7,346 persons aged above 60 and 913 persons aged between 45 and 59 with comorbidities had got vaccine till Thursday. As many as 33,887 healthcare workers and 20,374 frontline workers have got the first dose of vaccine. Dr. Rajendra said those who got the first dose could get the second dose anywhere in the country on production of the vaccine certificate/reference number.

Awareness campaign

The administration has planned a massive campaign to create awareness about vaccination involving religious heads and leaders, asking them to get vaccinated so as to encourage others to follow the suit. ASHAs as well as booth-level officers will be roped in to encourage targeted persons to get vaccinated.

As inoculation has to be done under supervision, residents of old-age/destitute homes could be ferried to the nearest vaccination site through school buses to be administered the vaccine, Dr. Rajendra said.

The DC said testing would be doubled from the present 2,000 in view of the increasing cases in the neighbouring States. The district administration, which had released lab technicians and data entry operators, plans to hire them again to speed up testing.

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