Vaccine hesitancy high among 60 years of age in TN

Vaccine hesitancy high among 60 years of age: Tamil Nadu organises special camps

The government has designated nearly 75 vaccination centres across the state

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

Tamil Nadu will hold special vaccinations camps every Sunday to administer a second dose of Covid-19 vaccine shots for those above the age of 60, with just 13 per cent of the above-mentioned age group getting fully vaccinated.

The government has designated nearly 75 vaccination centres across the state for exclusively administering the second dose of the vaccine for those above 60 years of age.

The special camps functioned on Sunday and will continue to function every Sunday, officials said, adding that such steps were necessary to ensure that the elderly are safe even if the third wave of infections hit the state.

The development also comes close on the heels of a survey conducted by the Director of Public Health (DPH) revealing that vaccine hesitancy was high among those above 60 years of age with 27.6 per cent of those surveyed expressed hesitancy in getting vaccinated.

The vaccine acceptance is high among those between 18-44 years of age with 80.3 per cent of men and 81.6 per cent of women among the unvaccinated lot agreeing to be inoculated. 

The DPH has decided to focus on addressing misconceptions among the age group. “Strategies and facilities would be created to counter the barriers and empower everyone to get vaccinated with confidence,” Dr T S Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health, said.

Tamil Nadu, which was one of the worst-affected states during the second wave of Covid-19 infections, is witnessing a marginal increase in the number of daily cases. Though the number of fresh Covid-19 patients hovers around 2,000 a day, but the numbers have been fluctuating in the past week.

Officials said though the vaccination rate in the elderly is “somewhat satisfactory” in urban areas, the same cannot be said about rural areas. Chennai tops the list of fully vaccinated above the age of 60 with 35 per cent followed by the picturesque Nilgiris (30 per cent), and Coimbatore (21 per cent).

Ariyalur stands at the bottom of the list with just 4 per cent of the elderly getting fully vaccinated. Other districts that have recorded less than ten per cent are Dharmapuri, Kallakurichi, Kancheepuram, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Ranipet, Tenkasi, and Tiruvarur among others.

Tamil Nadu has so far administered 2.48 crore vaccine doses of which 17.01 lakh are from the private sector. The government has also found a novel way to utilize the vaccines that are allotted to the private sector by allowing corporates to buy them using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds and administer them free of cost to the people.

The state government is also preparing itself for any third wave of infections by not dismantling any temporary infrastructure created for the second wave.