State seeks 60 lakh vaccine doses in the next 45 days

Vaccination drive needs more pace, CM tells Modi

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make available at least 60 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine for Kerala in the next 45 days.

In an online video conference with Mr. Modi on Friday, the Chief Minister said Kerala had ramped up vaccination to preserve the gains it had made in keeping the pandemic death rate at a minimal 0.48%. Vaccine wastage in Kerala was zero.

So far, 1.17 crore Keralites had received the first dose of the vaccine. An estimated 44.18 lakh Keralites were fully inoculated with two doses.

The government’s vaccination drive had focussed on Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. It also emphasised the vaccination of bedridden patients, senior citizens, needy families, mental hospital inmates, and lodgers in nursing homes. Transgender people also received particular preference.

Mr. Vijayan told Mr. Modi that Kerala’s vaccination drive should pick up more pace to blunt the worst ravages of a predicted third wave.

Mr. Vijayan said the virulent delta variant of the virus had triggered the second COVID-19 wave in April. The second surge had lashed Kerala belatedly compared to other States.

The average test positivity rate (TPR) shot up to 30%. Testing, contact tracing, cooperation of the people and decentralised enforcement of COVID-19 regulations helped bring down the TPR to a relatively manageable 10.4% incrementally.

Kerala could successfully shield its hospitals from being swamped by COVID patients. It had done so by reining in the pandemic from running out of control and peaking quickly.

However, the strategy to control disease spread rendered a large section of the unvaccinated population vulnerable to the virus. Mr. Vijayan said the peculiar situation accounted for the high number of patients in Kerala compared to other States.

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