‘Oldest recipient’ of vaccine takes first jab

Additional doses of Covishield expected to arrive today

Annam Varkey, a 104-year-old resident of Angamaly, took her first shot of the vaccine for COVID-19 at the Angamaly taluk hospital on Wednesday, possibly making her the oldest recipient of the vaccine in the State, according to the district administration.

With the fear of the infection spreading further in the district, she arrived at the taluk hospital with her daughter and was assisted by health officials and the hospital Superintendent. She left the hospital with the message that people must come forward to take the vaccine without any hesitation, in order to fight the disease.

Additional stock

To replenish the district’s depleting vaccine stock, additional doses of Covishield are expected to arrive on Thursday, said Dr. M.G. Sivadas, nodal officer for immunisation.

A total of 1.5 lakh doses of Covishield are expected to arrive for five districts – Ernakulam, Palakkad, Idukki, Kottayam and Thrissur.

No camps

Mass vaccination camps will, however, remain suspended for now. With the stock that is set to arrive, the administration will prioritise people who are due to take their second shot, Dr. Sivadas said. “On-the-spot registrations will not be permitted. Only people who have already taken the first shot will be able to walk in to centres and take the second dose,” he added.

Around 12,500 doses of the two vaccines were distributed to private hospitals on Wednesday and private centres would have their vaccination sites running on Thursday. If more doses of the vaccines are made available, the district would be able to administer around 25,000 doses daily even without mass vaccination centres, Dr. Sivadas said.

So far, 7,40,446 people have taken the vaccine in Ernakulam.

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