First vaccine dose for all by Oct. end

Full vaccination targeted by Jan.: Minister

The State is carrying on with COVID-19 vaccination at a good pace and expects to complete the coverage of all persons above 18 years with the first dose by October end.

By January next year, the entire population above 18 years should be fully vaccinated, it is hoped, Health Minister Veena George said in the Assembly on Tuesday. She was replying to a calling attention motion on COVID vaccination, raised by A.N. Shamseer.

Ms. George said the COVID vaccination rate in the State was much above the national average and this had been achieved through campaigns addressing priority populations as well as through systematic vaccination camps across districts.

In the government sector alone, over 1,200 vaccination centres were functioning.

The department had organised special campaigns to vaccinate pregnant women, the disabled, the elderly in care homes, and the tribal population by listing them as priority groups. Palliative care or chronically bed-ridden patients were given vaccination at home.

A special campaign had been taken up to promote vaccine equity and all those in socially or economically backward sections of society, who could not access Cowin portal, were roped in for vaccination by ASHAs.

Health workers were now personally meeting those showing vaccine hesitancy and persuading them to get vaccinated, Ms. George said.

The State was also going forward with the publication of a comprehensive list of COVID deaths, as per the new guidelines issued by the Centre. COVID death ascertaining committees had been set up in all districts and the State had already published detailed guidelines on how the official document of COVID death certification could be issued and how the public could submit applications.

A compensation of ₹50,000 would be given to the legal heir or next of kin of those who died of COVID from the funds of the State Disaster Management Authority, which will be disbursed through an online portal of the Land Revenue Commissioner once it is set up.

Ms. George, in reply to a question on adverse events following COVID vaccination, said a few rare adverse events had been reported and these had been reported to the Union Health Ministry as mandated.

The Health Department was also conducting a special study on adverse events following COVID vaccination, she said.

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