Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 22 September 2021 2.08 PM IST

At first, more vaccines should reach the state


The central team is once again coming to Kerala to study the causes of the Covid outbreak. However, more than the central team, what the state needs now is the availability of enough vaccines to help it attain herd immunity. Vaccination centers had to be closed down the other day as the stock ran out. Lapses and shortages in vaccine supply are unforgivable as the spread of the disease is severe. The other day, NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul reiterated that vaccination and caution were the only way to stop the spread of Covid. Who should ensure these things? Vaccination is completely under the control of the central government. The state has been constantly knocking on the Centre's door for vaccines since March when the vaccination program began. Though Kerala had received the vaccine, the quantity was never sufficient. Since the people are literate, they come forward to receive the vaccine without any coercion. Many were even forced to return without getting inoculated. The state is at the forefront when it comes to using the vaccine without wasting a single drop. It even received praise from the Prime Minister.

The Centre has been distributing the vaccine among states in stages after considering the population of each state. Therefore, the small state of Kerala has to wait a long time to get enough vaccines. There are about 2.80 crore people above the age of 18 in the state. Only about 50 percent of them received at least one dose of vaccine. The government aims to provide at least one dose to all by December 31. In order to achieve this feat, it has to receive more vaccines. The spread of the disease can be effectively prevented only by acting on a war footing.

The central team is coming to find out the reason for the high prevalence of the disease in the state. Kerala is one of the most densely populated states in the country. With a population of about 3.5 crores, the risk of disease spread is high. It has a population density of over 800 per square kilometer. Experts say that if one person in a house gets infected by Covid, it can spread to at least 12 people. This is why the authorities are finding it difficult to contain the spread of the virus in Kerala even when several other states managed to do so. While the Centre has been blaming Kerala for not being vigilant enough in areas with high Test Positivity Rate (TRP), the local characteristics and lifestyles of people should also be taken into account. It is a matter of concern that seven of the 22 districts in the country with the highest number of Covid cases are in Kerala. The state has been recording over 20,000 daily cases for the last three days. It accounts for about half of all new Covid cases in the country. Festive days are coming and these are the days when people tend to gather together. The only way to prevent the spread of the disease is to maximize vaccination and to be vigilant. A large number of people belonging to the sections that interact closely with the public are yet to receive the vaccine. This is one of the reasons for the increase in the spread of the disease. If the Center is not ready to change its vaccine policy, Kerala's misery will only increase.

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