Maharashtra: Surge in booster dose amid new variant, spike in Covid cases

According to the dashboard, 3,12,192 beneficiaries between the age group of 18-59 years had taken booster or precautionary doses, which has now increased to 5,50,006 until June 20

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 08:37 PM IST
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Amid a spike in the number of Covid cases with new strains of Omicron - BA.4 and BA.5 - spreading rapidly and the impending threat of an elusive fourth wave, the citizens opting for booster dose between the age group 18 to 59 years has increased by 76 per cent in the last 15 days across Maharashtra.

Similarly, senior citizens taking booster dose have increased by 15 per cent during the same period. This comes after the state has been witnessing a surge in COVID cases over the last two weeks.

Officials attributed this to the fear amongst the citizens of contracting infections. On the other hand vaccination amongst children has also increased by 12 per cent.

According to the dashboard, 3,12,192 beneficiaries between the age group of 18-59 years had taken booster or precautionary doses, which has now increased to 5,50,006 until June 20, which means 2,37,814 people were administered booster doses in the last 15 days. Similarly, the number of beneficiaries taking booster doses has increased to 19.36 lakh from 16.85 lakhs during the same period.

“Since cases have increased across Maharashtra, the demand for booster has increased under the campaign 'Har Ghar Dastak' 2.0 which started this month. It also increases the coverage of the first two doses among children between the ages of 12 and 17 years. From 8,000-9,000 shots daily for senior citizens, this number has nearly doubled to 15,000 shots in the past few days,” said a senior health official.

Health experts believe that the numbers will increase steadily as most of them have completed their two-vaccine course between August and October last year.

An immunisation officer from the state health department said the vaccination numbers amongst the children have also increased as parents have started taking their children for vaccination.

“We were expecting numbers to increase after the door-to-door campaign and as schools have been reopened many of them are getting vaccinated,” he said.

Meanwhile, the civic body is not leaving any stone unturned in vaccinating children. Dr Mangala Gomare, Executive Health Officer said around 76,000 children in the age group of 12 to 15 years are eligible for vaccination in BMC schools. “How many of these children have got their vaccinations done during the holidays? This information is being gathered."

During the camps, the civic body will also tackle vaccine hesitancy. “Those children who are not willing to take the vaccination, their parents will be counselled and told about the importance of the vaccine. This responsibility has been entrusted with the health workers working at the health post," said Gomare.

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