Reduce gap for COVID-19 vaccination doses: Harish Rao to Centre

Harish Rao also emphasized the need for booster shots to be administered to 'at-risk' groups, frontline and healthcare workers.

Hyderabad: Telangana Health Minister T Harish Rao, on Friday, urged the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya to reduce the gap between the doses of Covishield vaccinations and emphasized the need for booster shots to be administered to ‘at-risk’ groups, frontline and healthcare workers.

Harish Rao in his letter to Mandviya, stated that although the state is making efforts to vaccinate all eligible people it is essential that the gap between the doses be reduced.

The long wait period between the two doses is causing difficulty in administering the second dose to those eligible, especially migrant workers who tend to move out after the first dose. “Since the line list for COWIN portal for the second dose are generated according to where the first dose was administered, it is difficult to track persons eligible for the second dose,” he stated.

While stating that the time period between the does be reduced to 4-6 weeks, as in the past, to improve second dose coverage, Rao said, “the waiting period also leads to people neglecting their second dose,”.

In light of the new variant of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Omicron, Rao suggested that booster shots be administered to at-risk groups, healthcare, and frontline workers, as a period of eight to ten months has passed since the administration of their second dose.

Rao’s suggestions are a part of the state’s aim to complete 100 percent vaccination of the state by the end of this year.

Vaccination Passports, a step closer to a fully vaccinated state

The Telangana public health department, on Thursday, asked people to carry vaccine certificates when they go to public places. G Srinivasa Rao, the director of public health, in a press conference also said that public health officials will randomly go to public places and ask for certificates from people.

“Not getting two doses of the vaccine is equal to suicide. We have around 80 lakh doses available for free in our state. People don’t have to go to private hospitals and pay for it. I urge people to come forward to take them,” he said.

The director said that 25 lakh people in Telangana have not taken the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has recorded a vaccination rate of 107 per cent for the first dose and a meagre 72 per cent for the second dose which poses a cause of concern.

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