Published: Publication date – 17:07, Mon – 13 Jun 22
Hyderabad: Following an increase in Covid infections caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, the Telangana government on Monday urged Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya to allow the administration of booster or precautionary doses to all eligible persons over the age of 18 in public hospitals.
At present, Telangana has a stockpile of nearly 32 lakh Covid vaccines, which will eventually expire in the coming months if not administered to eligible people sooner.
The Ministry of Health has only allowed private hospitals to administer boosters to people between the ages of 18 and 59. However, given the surge in Covid infections and the huge accumulated stockpile of vaccines, the ministry must allow government hospitals to start administering precautionary doses, Telangana Health Minister T Harish said on Monday. Rao, during a videoconference with Dr. Mandaviya.
During the videoconference held for all states and union territories, Harish Rao said that new variants of Omicron are driving the current spike in infections and that it is important to allow hospitals public to administer precautionary doses.
“Public hospitals are already giving booster doses to eligible people over the age of 60. This is the right time to expand the initiative. We have already written to you twice about this. In the coming days, to identify more Covid infections and isolate them at the earliest, we will also increase the number of Covid rapid tests and RT-PCR tests in all public hospitals in Telangana,” said Harish Rao.
He also briefed Dr Mandaviya on the door-to-door Covid vaccine administration campaign and added, “Since June 3, we have already administered Covid vaccines to 1.3 lakh individuals as part of countryside”.
In the 12-18 age category, first dose coverage of the Covid vaccine in Telangana is 104.78% while second dose coverage is 99.72%, Harish Rao said.