A huge rush was reported at COVID-19 vaccination centres in several places in Kerala over the last few days. In many places across the state, people were seen crowding without adhering to COVID-19 protocols. Reports from Palakkad, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram said that people did not maintain physical distance. On Wednesday, in Kottayam, the crowding outside a vaccination centre at Baker Memorial Girls High School resulted in a clash between the public and the police.
Visuals of the incident show many people, including the elderly, rushing to the vaccination centre without adhering to proper protocol. Many were seen shouting at each other and at the police personnel deployed at the centre, while not wearing masks properly or maintaining physical distance. The people who arrived at the centre after registering online were given priority while others were asked to stand in a queue. While tokens were being distributed for those who were in the queue, people began jostling for it and this resulted in clashes.
In Palakkad district, though clashes were not reported, people gathered outside vaccination centres in large numbers, without following COVID-19 regulations. From 8 am on Wednesday, the premises of the Government Moyans LP School was crowded. Though it was informed that only 1,500 vaccine shots were available at the centre, more number of people gathered to get the vaccine.
Many people complained that they came after seeing a newspaper advertisement about the mass vaccination. They also said that the tokens were not distributed properly, which created confusion and resulted in a huge rush.
Meanwhile, there were reports of vaccine shortage in many places, due to which vaccination camps were stopped. Camps arranged in Malappuram and Pathanamthitta districts were stopped due to shortage.
On Tuesday, Health Minister KK Shailaja said that Kerala immediately required 50 lakh vaccine doses. "Of the 65 lakh vaccine doses received, we have already utilised 62,36,676. Two lakh plus vaccines are being administered daily with almost zero wastage. Only less than 3 lakh vaccine doses remain with us now. Kerala's demand for 50 lakh doses should be allowed immediately," she tweeted.