49% of 2.8 crore targeted vaccine beneficiaries yet to receive first dose
Scarred by the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic during the first and second waves, people from various walks of life are worried about the possibility of a third wave. Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao, however, has suggested that the coronavirus situation in the State is under control and that there is no problem for the “next six months”.
Questioned about the basis of the estimation, the senior health officer cited the current positivity rate of 0.4%, R-Naught value (number of people a positive person can infect) of 0.5% in the State, low bed occupancy in hospitals, vaccination coverage and the way new variants have merged across the world as some of the factors.
“There is no chance of a third wave until a new and strong variant emerges. If we continue our vaccination drive to cover a large section of people, chances of a strong variant emerging in coming days is low,” said Dr Srinivasa Rao.
In the first week of August too, he had said that the third wave will not emerge till December and listed some of the same reasons. He explained how an extensive vaccination coverage will mitigate risk of new variants of coronavirus.
Not yet vaccinated
Of the 2.8 crore beneficiaries in the State above the age of 18 years, 49% are yet to receive their first dose of vaccine. From January 16 till September 11, over 1.42 crore people have received their first dose and 52.92 lakh have taken both jabs.
Special drives to improve the immunisation coverage in the Greater Hyderabad region was launched a few weeks ago. Mobile vans were used to take vaccination to people’s doorstep.
Another special drive to vaccinate people in rural localities and towns of Telangana would be conducted for four weeks soon. A video conference will be held with collectors of all districts in this regard.
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