In the letter, the Telangana Health Minister also said that all citizens aged over 60 years should be eligible for the precautionary dose irrespective of comorbidities.

A health worker administering COVID-19 vaccine to a womanImage for representation: PTI
news Vaccination Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 14:17

Telangana Health Minister T Harish Rao wrote a letter to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday, January 18, demanding that the timeline of the vaccination drive be reconsidered. Harish Rao urged the Union government to also consider reducing the interval between vaccine doses and precautionary doses for all citizens aged over 18 years.

In the letter, the Telangana Health Minister made four demands — decreasing the interval between the second dose and precautionary dose from nine months to six months, examining the feasibility of further decreasing the interval between the second dose and precautionary dose to three months for all healthcare workers, including all citizens aged over 60 years for the precautionary dose irrespective of comorbidities and to consider a booster dose for all citizens aged 18 years and above. 

The move came a day after the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh government also decided to write to the Union government, to reduce by three months the gap for administering precautionary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. At a review meeting on Monday, January 17, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy decided to write a letter to the Union government seeking to reduce the gap from the existing nine months to six months.

Meanwhile, Telangana continued to record a spike in COVID-19 cases with 2,447 infections reported in the state on Monday taking the coronavirus tally to 7.11 lakh while the death toll rose to 4,060 with three more fatalities. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) reported the highest number of fresh cases at 1,112, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri (235) and Ranga Reddy (183) districts, a state government bulletin said, providing details as of 5.30 pm on January 17. The number of active cases stood at 22,197, the bulletin said.

The Telangana High Court on Monday directed the state government to increase testing, including RT-PCR tests and other tests for COVID-19, and to review the situation and take an appropriate decision in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases. The High Court, while hearing a batch of PILs on COVID-19 issues, also issued directions to ensure strict implementation of COVID-appropriate behaviour. The court posted the matter to January 25.

With PTI and IANS inputs

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