Covid cases rising in Chandigarh tricity but third dose takers still low

So far in Chandigarh, only 52,280 adults from all categories have taken the precautionary dose, a number significantly lower than the city’s eligible population of 8.43 lakh
The Haryana government announced free booster doses for adults in April, but the facility is still not available in Punjab and Chandigarh, resulting in poor response from eligible people. (via REUTERS)
The Haryana government announced free booster doses for adults in April, but the facility is still not available in Punjab and Chandigarh, resulting in poor response from eligible people. (via REUTERS)
Published on Jun 24, 2022 02:13 AM IST
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By, Chandigarh/mohali/panchkula

Even as the tricity has been witnessing a steady rise in its daily Covid-19 infections since the beginning of June, there has been no improvement in the turnout for the third dose of the anti-Covid vaccines.

So far in Chandigarh, only 52,280 adults from all categories have taken the precautionary dose, a number significantly lower than the city’s eligible population of 8.43 lakh.

In Mohali, only 42,992 of the total 8.15 lakh adult beneficiaries have turned up for the booster dose, which is to be administered nine months after the second dose, while in Panchkula, the count stands at 37,192, while the eligible population is 4.44 lakh.

Panchkula was the first in the tricity to complete 100% second dose vaccination among its adult population on January 14. Chandigarh also achieved the target on January 25, while Mohali finally caught up on March 24.

The central government had allowed healthcare and frontline workers, besides senior citizens with comorbidities, to receive the precautionary dose for free at government vaccination centres from January 10.

From March 16, even senior citizens without comorbidities were allowed to get the free third dose, while for the remaining adults, the drive started on April 10. But for them, the third dose was paid and available only at private health facilities.

The Haryana government eventually announced free booster doses for adults in April, but the facility is still not available in Punjab and Chandigarh, resulting in poor response from eligible people.

While 3,470 residents took the third dose in Panchkula over the past week, the number was less than half in Chandigarh (1,540) and only tad better in Mohali (1,756).

“Since vaccination helps lower the severity of infection, the hospitalisation rate was low during the pandemic’s third wave in January. But as antibodies against the virus start waning after six to eight months, booster doses are a must to strengthen the immunity. While most people can get away with mild infection, the virus can still pose danger to aged, co-morbid and unvaccinated people. So, the third dose must not be ignored,” said Dr Suman Singh, director, health services, Chandigarh.

She added, “The UT health department is even going door-to-door to vaccinate people, but they are still missing out on their eligible doses.”

Tricity logs 145 cases in over four-month high

Tricity’s daily Covid-19 cases jumped to 145 on Thursday, up from 114 on Wednesday and highest in over four months.

Since 200 infections on February 12, this is the first time that the daily tally touched 145, which included 65 cases from Chandigarh, 41 in Mohali and 39 in Panchkula.

On Wednesday, the three areas had reported 36, 37 and 41 cases, respectively.

The latest infections from Chandigarh were reported from across the city, including Sectors 11, 16, 18, 21, 22, 25, 30, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 42, 43, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 61 and 63, Burail, Dadumajra, Daria, Dhanas, Hallomajra, Industrial Area, Kaimbala, Kajheri, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora and Kishangarh.

Active cases breach 800 mark

Rising steadily since the beginning of June, the tricity’s active caseload crossed the 800 mark after over four months since February 17.

Of the 823 positive patients in the tricity now, at 417, maximum are residents of Chandigarh, 237 are infected in Mohali and another 169 in Panchkula.

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