Fewer people are opting for Covid precaution dose in Delhi in the last several days, even as the number of coronavirus cases reported in the national capital has registered a record rise in the past one week.
As per official data from the city health department, as on August 2, the total number of booster doses administered in the city stood at 22,19,059. The corresponding figures for August 4 and 5 were -- 22,42,415 and 22,57,172.
Data analysis showed that the number of precaution doses administered till August 4, was merely 1.05 per cent higher than the figures on August 2. And, on Friday it showed only a rise of a meagre 0.65 per cent vis-a-vis the figures on Thursday.
The drive for administering “precautionary doses”, which were announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was rolled out from January 10, initially for healthcare workers, senior citizens and persons with co-morbid conditions.
On April 10 this year, India began administering precaution doses of COVID-19 vaccines to all aged above 18 years. Delhi on Friday recorded 2,419 Covid cases, the highest in six months, with a positivity rate of 12.95 per cent, and two fatalities due to the viral disease, according to health department data.
It was the third consecutive day that the daily count of Covid cases crossed the 2,000-mark. Delhi on Thursday had recorded 2,202 Covid cases, with a positivity rate of 11.84 per cent, while four more people died due to the disease.
Doctors have been urging people to get their precaution dose whenever due and not prolong it or avoid it due to any vaccine hesitancy. At LNJP Hospital, 51 patients of COVID-19 were currently admitted, and one patient was on ventilator, sources said on Saturday.
Other hospitals here are also registering a rise in number of admissions of COVID-19 patients in the last few days. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2 last year.
The total number of doses administered to beneficiaries in Delhi till August 2 had stood at 3,58,61,991 -- 1,81,97,837 (first dose) and 1,54,45,095 (second dose), as per official data.
Til August 4, the corresponding figures were 3,58,92,381 (total doses) -- 1,81,99,912 (first dose) and 1,54,50,054 (second dose), according to the data. Till August 5, the corresponding figures were had stood at 3,59,11,154 (total doses) -- 1,82,01,072 (first dose) and 1,54,52,910 (second dose).
The government has taken initiative to encourage people to get them their booster dose, including 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign.
In a tweet, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had said recently, “As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, free COVID-19 precaution dose will be administered to all the citizens above 18 years of age at government vaccination centres, from July 15, 2022, till the next 75 days. I thank PM Narendra Modi Ji for this decision.”
“The decision will further strengthen India's fight against COVID-19 and add an extra layer of safety! I urge all those eligible to get their precaution dose at the earliest,” he added.
Less than 1 per cent of the target population of 77.10 crore in the 18-59 age group have been administered the precaution dose. However, 25.84 per cent of the 16.80 crore eligible population aged 60 and above as well as healthcare and frontline workers have received the booster dose, an official source had said on July 13.
The Union Health Ministry recently had reduced the gap between the second and precaution doses of COVID-19 vaccine for all beneficiaries from nine to six months. This followed a recommendation from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).
The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India had crossed 205 crore on August 3, the ministry had said.
According to government data, till recently in July, 96 per cent of India's population has been administered the first dose of Covid vaccine while 87 per cent of the people have taken both doses.
-With PTI Input