HYDERABAD: The percentage of teenagers in the 15-17 age group who got vaccinated in Hyderabad is quite low compared to other districts in the state, according to official data.
As of Friday, only 50.5 per cent of teens in that age bracket were vaccinated in Hyderabad. The figure is the fifth-lowest among the 33 districts in the state. Out of a target population of 1,84,822 teens aged between 15 and 17 in Hyderabad, 93,308 have been vaccinated until Friday, as per the bulletin issued by the health department.
Hyderabad’s percentage of 50.5 is also much lower than the corresponding figure for the entire state, which is 63 per cent.
The development is especially surprising because Hyderabad has been among the best districts in terms of vaccinating the above 18 years population with the first dose, and has also administered a good number of second doses. Until Friday, the percentage of first dose coverage for the 18-plus population in Hyderabad is 107 per cent, while it is 81 per cent for the second dose.
Except for Hanamkonda, all other predominantly urban districts including Rangareddy, Medchal-Malkajgiri and Warangal, also fare poorly in vaccinating the 15-17 age group. Hanamkonda, in fact, has the best figures among all states, with 95 per cent of its target population having received a dose.
However, according to Dr Ashish Chauhan, consultant physician and Covid care expert, Apollo Hospitals, this is not necessarily bad news for Hyderabad. “A good number of the city’s population is suffering from some kind of flu-related symptoms. As a result, doctors are advising teenagers to delay taking the shot, which is scientifically correct. A vaccination should be taken strictly on the advice of one's family physician or treating doctor,” Dr Chauhan said.
ICMR certified researcher Dr Kiran Madala said the reason for Hyderabad’s low figures could be because the third wave hit Hyderabad before moving to the districts. He said, “Till the (Sankranti) festival, there weren’t many cases in districts. So, some teens could have contracted Covid. Their family members, one of whom needs to accompany the teens, also could have got infected, thus delaying their ward’s inoculation. Otherwise, the Hyderabad population is generally well-educated and there is no reason for low coverage.”