Chennai, Jan 28 (IANS): Reports from the Tamil Nadu health department have revealed that more than 50 per cent of the frontline workers are yet to inoculate themselves with both the doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
The state has 9.7 lakh frontline workers and half of this population are yet to take both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. More than 1.7 lakh frontline workers, including revenue officials, policemen, and local body staff are yet to take a single dose of the vaccine.
Data available with the immunisation wing of the state public health department revealed that only 4.4 lakh frontline workers of the state have taken both doses of the vaccine.
However, 97 per cent of the health workers, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics have taken a dose of the vaccine with 64 per cent taking both doses of the vaccine.
Dr. Selvavinayagam, Director, Tamil Nadu Public Health Department while speaking to IANS said, "The Central government has last week informed the Supreme Court of India that it has not made vaccination mandatory and hence Tamil Nadu has also not made vaccines mandatory. This is the reason why many people have not taken both the doses of vaccine and around 1.7 lakh frontline workers have not yet taken even a single dose of the vaccine."
He said that the state has made it mandatory that entry to malls and workplaces will be allowed if people take both doses of vaccine.
Dr. Selvavinayagam said, "There is an increase in the number of deaths due to Covid-19 over the past two weeks and more than 80 per cent of the deaths are of people above the age of 60 and we are insisting that all should vaccinate themselves at the earliest."
He also said that almost all the PHCs in the state are loaded with vaccines and people have to present themselves to get inoculated.
However retired Judge of the Madras High Court, Justice Kirubakaran while speaking to IANS said, "Health is a state subject and the state must ensure that vaccination is done compulsorily. This is to ensure the safety of the people of the state. The state must strictly enforce its decision not to allow people without double vaccines in any public or workplaces."