Hyderabad: As the daily count of Covid-19 infections and fatalities has dropped in Telangana, the sense of urgency to get vaccinated among the people has gone down significantly. Since the conditions have become conducive, availability of vaccines have improved and the Delta variant appears to have burnt itself out, people have developed vaccine hesitancy. This has resulted in a huge backlog of individuals who are yet to get the second dose of Covid vaccines in Telangana.
At present, there are 36 lakh individuals in Telangana and 10 crore in the entire country, who have received the first dose and have not taken the second dose of the vaccine. Roughly, there are 2.87 crore eligible individuals above the age of 18 years in Telangana who have to receive 5.74 crore (2.87 X 2) doses of Covid vaccine. So far, nearly 3 crore vaccine doses, of the targeted 5.74 crore, have been administered in Telangana.
“In terms of administering the vaccine doses, we have just reached the halfway stage. People should realise that first dose of Covid vaccine will only provide partial immunity while double dose provides almost full immunity. Chances of getting infected among fully vaccinated individuals are 5 per cent to 10 per cent but it shoots up to 30 per cent among the partially vaccinated,” Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao said.
To cover individuals who have not taken the second Covid dose, the Health Department is conducting special drives across the State. However, authorities are struggling to track individuals who are hesitant to come forward for the second dose.
At the national level, public health experts have said that this was the right time to reduce the gap between two Covid vaccine doses and to tackle conditional hesitancy.
Dr Ishwar Gilada, General Secretary, Organised Medicine Academic Guild (OMAG), said, “No doubt, crossing 1 billion vaccine doses is a real festival for India. But mind you, we are halfway through for reaching the 70 per cent of population being fully vaccinated for attaining herd immunity. India has almost 1.4 billion people, so we need 2.8 billion doses to vaccinate all.”
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