Vaccination in Tamil Nadu saw a slight dip on Friday (May 28) with 3.09 lakh persons taking the jab compared to 3.23 lakh on Thursday (May 27). Out of the 3.09 lakh, those who belong to the frontline workers in the age group of 18-44 were 2.39 lakh.
The COVID-19 vaccination drive, which began on a dull note, has picked up pace in the last few days with people crowding many primary health centres (PHCs) in urban as well as in rural areas.
In Chennai alone, more than 35,760 took the jab on Friday and many who wanted to take the jab could not do so as the PHCs and hospitals did not have enough stock of either Covishield or Covaxin. Out of the 35,000, 24,670 belong to the age group of 18-44 and 10,358 belong to the age group of above 44 years.
Some are turned away at the PHCs on some pretext or the other. Take the case of college student, M Vivek, a resident of Nandanam. “As the state is under lockdown and colleges are not working, I wanted to take the jab and went to a nearby PHC early in the morning. Though only two of us in the age group of 18-44 were in the queue, the official in the PHC refused to allow us to take the shot. They said only frontline workers in this age group are allowed to take the jab,” said Vivek.
In many PHCs in and around Chennai, tokens were being given to people who were standing in the queue and only those with tokens were allowed to take the first dose.
So far, a total of 84.50 lakh in the age group from 18 to 60 years and above have taken the jab. Out of the total, in Tamil Nadu, 8.81 lakh belonging to the age group 18-44 years have taken the first dose and 41, the second dose.
According to a Chennai corporation official vaccine hesitancy has come down in the city. “Unlike a month back when many had doubts about taking the jab, people are ready to take the first dose now. Many people come early to beat the heat to take the jab. But we are not able to provide vaccines to all those who are ready to take the jab because we are facing a shortage of vaccines,” said the senior Chennai Corporation official.
Private hospitals in the city like Apollo Hospitals are ready to roll out the third COVID vaccine, the Sputnik in the city. “We are hopeful of rolling out the Russian vaccine in the city mostly in the second week and it is for all age groups. The cost of each jab will be ₹1,195 and those interested must register in the Cowin portal,” said an Apollo Hospital spokesperson.