Kerala once again witnessed a huge rush at vaccination centres in Ernakulam and Palakkad districts, with people crowding at these centres and not adhering to COVID-19 protocols. Visuals on news channels showed many people including the elderly, standing in the queue without maintaining physical distancing. In both the districts, the police had to intervene to make people follow distancing protocol.
"There was a rush at most of the centres and we had to intervene," a police personnel of Palakkad Town Station told TNM. The rush was huge at the District government hospital in Palakkad and General Hospital in Ernakulam.
The vaccination drive in Ernakulam had been stopped for two days due to vaccine shortage and had resumed on April 30. The crowd included those above 45 years of age, who are looking for their first or second dose. With lakhs of people waiting for their second shot, the government has said that people who need a second dose will be given priority at vaccination centres and they can do spot registration too.
Earlier too, huge rush was reported from vaccination centres in Palakkad, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram. There have been complaints too that many are not getting a slot to book an appointment for the second dose of vaccine.
The ongoing vaccination drive is for those who are above 45 years old while that for all those who are above 18 years will commence from May 1. Many states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have announced that the drive will not start on May 1 as they are still waiting for Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to confirm when the vaccines will be delivered. The vaccination for all those above 45 years began on April 1.
Till Wednesday 71,44,122 lakh people have been administered with the vaccine dose in Kerala. Of these, 59,67,887 people received the first dose while 11,76,235 received the second dose.
The state on April 28 decided to purchase one crore COVID-19 vaccines directly from the manufacturers. The state has maintained that vaccines will be provided free of cost to all people.