The State government has sent a proposal seeking approval from the Centre to administer vaccines against COVID-19 to the Assembly Speaker, the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister and Ministers, and is hoping for a favourable reply at the earliest, Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar informed the Assembly on Thursday.
He hoped a favourable reply would come in a week or two. Had the Centre given its approval [earlier], the Chief Minister, Ministers and the Speaker could have taken the vaccine to give hope to the people, the Minister said while replying to a query raised in this regard in the House.
He said the proposal was also for administering vaccines to those aged over 50, journalists and legislators. “All Ministers are keenly awaiting [approval from the Centre]. So there is no need for any hesitation, fear or nervousness. The Health Department will take steps to administer the vaccine to people’s representatives, on priority, in the next few days,” he said.
Saying there would be some hesitation, generally, with regard to vaccines, Mr. Vijayabaskar said: “The Secretary [Health] and I have taken Covaxin shots, produced in India, to end such hesitation and boost confidence among frontline workers.” So far, over 1.33 lakh frontline workers have been administered vaccines. “Several Collectors have volunteered to take shots. I thank them,” he said.
A total of 8,59,952 officials from the Health, Police and Revenue departments and local bodies across the State have been identified to be administered the vaccines.
The Minister said the 8.59 lakh officials include 5.55 lakh frontline workers from the Health Department, 1.54 lakh police personnel, 1.06 persons from local bodies and over 35,000 officials from the Revenue Department.