In Dakshina Kannada, only 6.4% or 17,304 people of the 60-plus age group have taken the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccines after more than a month of its kick-off on January 10.
The government had started the dose of vaccine for all health care and frontline workers as well as senior citizens with comorbidities. Senior citizens have been receiving messages on their mobile phones stating that they are eligible to take the dose after “medical advice”.
So, most of them have ignored vaccination centers as they are disinclined to take medical advice first. “I wanted to take the precaution dose, but the message seeks medical advice. Hence, I have not visited the vaccination center,” a senior citizen said.
Health officials said that all senior citizens who approached vaccination centers without medical advice were given precautionary doses. “In fact, the government introduced the precaution dose to senior citizens with comorbidities. However, we are not insisting on medical advice. We have been administering the precaution dose to all who are above 60 if they have completed nine months after the second dose,” Dr. B Rajesh, RCH officer told.
He said the reduction in the number of Covid-19 cases in the district has also slowed down vaccination. “Many do not come forward to take the third dose since the district has seen a steep fall in Covid-19 cases. We have sufficient stock of vaccines in the district,” he said. The district has so far administered precaution doses to 39,449 people, including 17,578 healthcare workers, 4,567 frontline workers, and 17,304 senior citizens, he said.