Kerala Suspends Vaccination, Minister says “Zero Vaccine Stocks”

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Kerala Suspends Vaccination, Minister Says 'Zero Vaccine Stocks'

Kerala Health Minister Veena George said the state has received around 1,66,00,000 doses of vaccine

Thiruvananthapuram:

Kerala has to stop vaccination as many of its districts, including Thiruvananthapuram, are running dry of vaccine, state Health Minister Veena George said today.

“We have zero vaccine stocks now. It seems there won’t be vaccination drive in the state for next few days,” she said.

Thiruvanathapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha does not have any Covishield vaccine doses. Fresh vaccine batches are not expected to reach the state before July 29.

Asserting that the rate of vaccination in the state is beyond 100 per cent, the minister said, “There is zero wastage… We request the Center to give us more vaccine”.

The state, she said, has received around 1,66,00,000 doses of vaccine and administered more than 1,87,00,000 doses.

“We have vaccinated 76 per cent of the population above the age of 45 years with the first dose. Almost 35 per cent people received both the doses,” she said.

In Wayanad and Kasargod, the vaccination rate of those above 45 years is 100 per cent, she said.

Underscoring the need to step up vaccination, she said while the situation is still under control, a recent sero-prevalence study has showed that around 42 per cent of the population has developed antibodies against Covid.

“This shows that more than 50 per cent of the population is still unaffected… We need more vaccines. In Kerala, people do really come forward for vaccination. But the thing is that we do not have vaccines,” the minister said.

Kerala has recently seen a spurt in Covid cases and has been under lockdown, which the state government relaxed for three days during Eid.

While the move drew censure from the top medical body, the Indian Medical Association, and was raised in the Supreme Court, the Pinarayi Vijayan government did not back down.

The top court refused to scrap the state’s notification on easing of curbs after it heard that the relaxation started two days before.

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