The district has, so far, witnessed an enthusiastic response to the COVID-19 vaccination drive, with over five lakh doses having been administered.
On Saturday, as many as 136 centres had vaccination sites. A final count of the number of doses administered on Saturday was not yet available. “Approximately 5,60,000 doses have been administered in the district so far,” said Dr. M.G. Sivadas, Reproductive and Child Health Officer and nodal officer for immunisation. On Friday, 29,375 doses of the vaccine were administered in Ernakulam. The number of centres stood at 180 on Friday.
Dr. Sivadas said the district had sufficient doses of the vaccine to last till Tuesday. Fresh supply is expected on April 15. Going by the Health Department’s vaccination bulletin, the district had 73,030 doses available at the end of the day on Friday. Of this, 7,410 doses are Covaxin and 65,620 are Covishield.
Considering the limited availability of Covaxin in the district, the existing stock of Covaxin is reserved to administer the second dose to those who have already taken the first shot.
A doctor at the Karuvelipady taluk hospital said the vaccination centre at the hospital had been seeing a footfall of around 200 to 250 people daily. Private hospitals too had seen good demand for the vaccine, said Dr. T.V. Ravi, president of IMA Kochi chapter. “Vaccine availability, however, is not as good as it was last month. We are managing for now, and the problem is expected to be resolved within a week or so,” he said.
The five mobile vaccination units, which have been covering homes for the elderly and holding mass camps at locations across the district, have administered 4,198 doses so far. The units have covered 83 out of 105 care homes in Ernakulam. The units will soon take the vaccination drive to civil stations in the district to provide the second dose to polling officials.
The drive is set to expand at the local body level from the second half of next week. For instance, the Kochi Corporation plans on setting up six vaccination centres soon. Each centre was likely to cater to residents in seven divisions of the Corporation, said Mayor M. Anilkumar. “The aim is to cover eligible people in one division in two days. Help from residents’ associations and Kudumbashree workers will be sought to identify beneficiaries,” he said.