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Kerala Facing Vaccine Shortage, More Doses Sought From Centre: Health Minister

COVID-19 cases cross 41-lakh mark, Covishield stock completely over in at least 6 districts, Covaxin stocks limited, says Veena George

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after Kerala's overall COVID-19 cases crossed the 41 lakh mark, state health minister Veena George on Friday said the state was facing vaccine  shortage and the Covishield stock was completely over in at least six districts, following which the government has asked for more vaccine doses from the Centre.

The districts -- Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur-- are facing the shortage of Covishield and only 1.4 lakh doses are remaining in the state's reserve but all districts have limited stock of Covaxin, she said.

The southern state is eyeing to complete the vaccination of all those aged above 18 years this month itself, which requires more jabs, the minister said here in a statement.

"The state is once again facing vaccine shortage. Almost all districts are suffering the scarcity. The Centre has been asked to provide more vaccine doses for the smooth continuation of the drive," George said.

Pointing out that many people are reluctant to take Covaxin, she said there is no need to worry about receiving the country's indigenous jab and both vaccines are effective as well as safe.

George said the state has achieved another target in the vaccine drive as 75% people, aged above 18 years, have been given the first dose.

This would comprise 2,15,27,035 people of the total 3.58 crore population of the state, she said, adding that of them, 27.74%  people (79,60,935) had received the second dose also.

According to the estimated population of 2021, it is 60.81%  and 22.49%, respectively.

With this, a total of 2,94,87,970 people have received either the first dose or both doses of vaccine. Strenuous efforts taken by the state as part of the vaccination drive, had helped achieve this goal so quickly.

"Over 86 lakh doses could be given in the month of August alone. The government is aiming to complete the vaccination of those aged above 18 years this month itself. This requires more vaccine doses," the minister added.

Kerala's overall Covid cases breached 41 lakh as its consistently high daily numbers showed no signs of a let-up, with the state once again witnessing over 30,000 new infections yesterday.

The state, which recorded the country's first coronavirus case in early 2020, reported 32,097 new COVID-19 infections and 188 deaths on Thursday, which pushed the total infection count to 41,22,133 and the fatalities to 21,149.

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