By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 23 Dec: Uttarakhand Government claims that almost all the eligible persons in Uttarakhand received the first and the second doses of the Covid vaccine, but only around 25 percent of the eligible persons in the state above the age of 12 years have been administered the booster dose.
Now that Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has called for cent percent of the booster dose to be administered in the state, special camps will have to be run to ensure that the maximum number of eligible are administered booster vaccines. Sources in the health department claim that the state presently has a stock of just 10,000 vaccine doses. Hence, in order to reach the target set by the government, the state will have to acquire and procure the vaccines in large numbers.
Sources late tonight confirmed that the state has asked for 23 lakh vaccines of Corona (Covishield and Covaxin) from the centre.
This will require purchase of 65 lakh vaccines to fulfil the target as more than that number of people has not got a booster dose in the state. It may be recalled that, after the third wave of Corona subsided in the state, people chose to ignore booster vaccines. The government also stopped the campaign then. Hence, as a result, only 25 percent of all age groups above 12 years have got the third vaccine of Covid.
As far as the elderly people are concerned, about 60 percent of the elderly people above 60 years of age have got the third dose. According to the Health Department, the estimated population of the state is estimated at 1.21 crore. In this, the population of people above 12 years of age is more than 89.35 lakhs. As per the claims of the state government, almost all the eligible adults have got the first and second dose of Covid vaccine in the state but over 75 percent of the eligible persons are yet to be administered booster dose.
A booster vaccination camp was today inaugurated by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami at the Secretariat here. More camps will soon be set up across the state. Unless large quantity of vaccine doses is procured at the earliest, the state will soon run out of the vaccine stock. Of course, there may be many adults and teenagers who may still choose not to get the booster dose till an actual fresh wave of the pandemic is seen. Even then, the government will still have to order the vaccines and get them at the earliest.
Secretary, Health, Dr R Rajesh Kumar admitted that people did not show seriousness in getting booster doses as the third wave did not prove to be fatal. A campaign for booster dose is being started again across the state. As per the official data, the number of people who got the first dose was 91. 14 lakhs, while 87.19 lakhs received the second dose. As against this, only 21.82 lakh persons have received the booster dose.