7,385 polling officials take first shot

A total of 7,385 polling officials took the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

The vaccination drive for polling officers will continue till Wednesday at government vaccination centres, said Dr. M. G. Sivadas, Reproductive and Child Health Officer and nodal officer for vaccination in the district. As many as 117 centres had been readied for 28,352 polling officials.

While registration began for people over the age of 60 and those with co-morbidities over the age of 45 to take the vaccine, very few registrations were successful on Monday. Since government vaccination centres are, for now, focussing on polling officials, people might have only been able to see time slots at private hospitals through the Co-WIN portal, Dr. Sivadas said.

“But private hospitals have not stocked the vaccine yet. At a meeting held today with private hospitals, they have been asked to purchase stock of the vaccine,” he said.

The number of government and private vaccination centres in the district will be increased by March 3, and vaccination of people over the age of 60 and over 45 with co-morbidities will be able to start soon after officials on poll duty are vaccinated, he said. A total of 49 government vaccination centres have been listed so far. Dr. Sivadas said that all beneficiaries at private hospitals, even healthcare workers, are now required to pay for the vaccine as per regulations, though the matter was still being discussed.

Meanwhile, Dr. T. V. Ravi, IMA Cochin Chapter President, said that the process was marred by confusion on day one of the registration. “Now, private hospitals are being asked to charge even healthcare workers for their second dose. The hospital has to procure the vaccine for healthcare workers also at a price. Healthcare workers got their first shot for free,” he said. Besides, the portal had crashed for a while on Monday, he said.

The portal to register is available at: cowin.gov.in

240 new cases

The district recorded 240 new COVID-19 cases and 500 recoveries on Monday. A total of 4,241 samples were sent for testing.

Thirteen people tested positive in North Paravur, 11 in Asamannoor and nine in Thrikkakara. A total of 8,583 people are recovering from the infection. Of them, 7,509 people are recovering at home, 29 are at the Government Medical College Hospital and 54 are at PVS Hospital. As many as 24,524 people remain in quarantine.

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