Kerala Short of COVID-19 Vaccines, May Need Lockdown: KK Shailaja

The health department said that the state has administered more than 50 lakh doses of the vaccine so far.

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There is not enough COVID-19 vaccines in Kerala and the spike in daily cases may require the state to enforce lockdowns at regional levels, said Health Minister KK Shailaja. The minister’s statement comes amid reports of a shortage of vaccines from several parts of the country over the past few days.

“We have begun a campaign to promote vaccination (for COVID-19). We have received nearly two lakh doses (for the campaign). When we ask (the Union government for more doses), some days we get 65,000, some other days, 18,000. We only have stock left for two more days to give people during the big campaign. Now big clusters of the disease are developing in certain areas again. We will have to apply our cluster containment strategy and put that whole region into lockdown. We will need to bring lockdowns at regional level again, if the spread becomes too high,” Minister Shailaja told reporters on Monday.

In a release later, the health department said that the state has administered more than 50 lakh doses of the vaccine so far. On Monday, 2.38 lakh doses were administered. Out of the 50,71,550 doses given so far, 49,19,234 have been Covishield and 1,52,316 Covaxin. Among these, 45,48,054 people have received both the doses of vaccination.

Vaccination began in Kerala on 16 January. So far, frontline workers, including health workers, election officials, and those in the vulnerable categories above the age of 45 have been given vaccination.

The state has been seeing a spike over the past few weeks. On Monday, 5,692 people tested positive for COVID-19, out of the 45,417 samples tested. On Sunday, the number was 6,986 and on Saturday, it was 6,194. The number of people who died of COVID-19 is now 4,794, according to the release. The total number of recoveries in the state so far is 11,20,174.

(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)

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