People aged 40 to 44 years can now get vaccination regardless of whether they fall into priority groups or not, said Kerala Health Minister Veena George in a statement. Vaccination for the age group of 18 to 44 years had begun on May 17 in Kerala along with the rest of the country. However, people who fell into priority groups (having co-morbidities) were given preference over the others.
"Vaccination will now be given to those who are 40 (including those who will turn 40 by January 1, 2022) and above, without considering priority groups. The National Health Mission has released a circular for this. Everyone aged 40 and above will get vaccine now. Vaccination following priority lists will continue for others aged 18 and above," said the statement.
The priority lists include those in the age group with co-morbidities. Vaccination for those in the 45+ age group will also continue as before, without considering priority groups, Minister Veena said.
Those in the 40 to 44 age group should register online in the Cowin portal and book appointments. Spot registration will not be allowed for this group. Vaccination slots will be given according to the availability of the vaccine. The date for booking starts on June 4.
Vaccination for people aged 60 years and above and for others aged 45 to 59 having co-morbidities began on March 1. Later, on April 1, this was extended to everyone aged 45 and above, regardless of whether they have co-morbidities or not. The state’s health department had launched a massive vaccination drive by which everyone aged 45 and above would be vaccinated within 45 days. However shortage of vaccine from the Centre had put a stop to the drive midway.