The mega Covid-19 vaccination drive commenced in Tamil Nadu at 7 a.m. on Sunday. The state health department is aiming to inoculate 20 lakh people in the mega vaccination drive to be held at 40,000 booths in 10,000 centres across the state.
There was no formal inauguration of the vaccination drive which will continue till 7 p.m. in the evening.
State Health Minister Ma Subramanian told IANS, “The state has distributed 27 lakh doses of vaccine in all districts for the mega drive. For the past few days we have been inoculating without any interruptions and we have received doses according to our requirement from the Central government.”
The minister said that those with flu and other medical symptoms will not be allowed to take the jab on Sunday.
The state health department said that 46 per cent of the eligible adults in the state have taken the first dose of vaccine while 12 per cent have taken both doses of the vaccine. The department is planning to fully inoculate the state’s eligible population by the end of 2021 and an accelerated vaccination drive is being conducted.
Minister Ma Subramanian said that the disease can be prevented only through vaccination and to develop antibodies in the population.
Interestingly, the health department revealed that Nilgiris district, which can be considered as rural Tamil Nadu, has administered more vaccines to the eligible population than the state capital Chennai.
While Chennai city has administered only a little more than half its population, Nilgiris has vaccinated 71 per cent of its eligible population. Greater Chennai Corporation has already arranged 1,600 vaccination camps for the mega vaccine drive on Sunday and is targeting 3.20 lakh beneficiaries. Eight camps each are set up in the 200 wards of the corporation.
The state government has already appealed to the Central government to release a special quota of one crore vaccine doses to it for completing the vaccination of eligible population by the year-end.