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Deploy state officials to motivate people for full vaccination: Mandaviya

 
New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday urged the states to deploy all government officials, one day in a week, to visit every eligible house with the message of full vaccination.

"We are in the last lap of Covid-19 vaccination. Let us launch aggressive campaign to fully vaccinate the adult population by increasing the pace of vaccination and expanding the coverage", said Mandaviya.

The minister was interacting virtually with Health Secretaries and senior officials of the Health Department from Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Puducherry during the meeting he chaired to review the status of Covid-19 vaccination in these states/UTs and the progress under the 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign.

These states and UTs have been reporting low vaccination coverage. While India's first dose coverage is at 82 per cent and second at 43 per cent, Puducherry (66 per cent, 39 per cent), Nagaland (49 per cent, 36 per cent), Meghalaya (57 per cent, 38 per cent) and Manipur (54 per cent, 36 per cent) lag behind in both doses.

Reiterating that vaccination is the most potent weapon against the pandemic, the Health Minister urged the states and UTs to innovatively rope in all stakeholders including NGOs, faith-based organisations, religious leaders, community influencers and other partners to motivate and mobilise all eligible population towards full vaccination.

"Let us ensure collectively that no eligible citizen is left without the 'Suraksha Kawachh' of Covid-19 vaccine in the country, and address issues of hesitancy, misinformation, superstition etc", said Mandaviya.

He reiterated that Prime Minister's mop-up strategies for strengthening the 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign, including deploying 'Prachar Toli' in villages to ensure mobilisation and counselling of the eligible population along with awareness campaigns, followed by the 'Vaccination Toli' which would ensure that all eligible citizens are vaccinated with both the doses.

Dr Mandaviya exhorted the states to prepare detailed district-wise micro plans, deploy adequate number of teams and to regularly review the daily progress of the low performing districts. The states have been asked to make innovative short videos to address target groups for hesitancy, along with effective use of various social media platforms and traditional media.

While India's first dose coverage is at 82 per cent, barring Puducherry, coverage of other states remain below 60 per cent. Meghalaya with a target population over 20 lakh has 8 lakh people waiting to be given 1st dose and due beneficiaries for 2nd dose are over 2.5 lakh.

Similarly, Manipur has over 10 lakh people yet to get their first dose and over 3.7 lakh due for their second dose out of a target population of 23.4 lakhs. Nagaland with a target population of 14.7 lakhs has over 7.5 lakh first doses to be achieved and 1.2 lakh beneficiaries due for second dose. Puducherry with a population has 11.3 lakhs has 3.88 lakh people yet to get first dose and 1.91 lakh eligible but yet to receive 2nd dose.

---IANS
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