More than 12 crore people are due for their second Covid-19 vaccine shot in India, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Thursday.
Of the total eligible adult population, only 79 per cent has got the first dose, while 38 per cent has received the second dose, he added.
Mandaviya made the observation during a meeting with health ministers of all states and union territories. He asked the ministers to ensure that all the adult population is covered with the first dose under the ongoing “Har Ghar Dastak” mega-vaccination drive, while those who are due for the second dose are also motivated.
The minister reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategies for strengthening the campaign, including deploying “Prachar Toli” in villages to mobilise and counsell the eligible population regarding vaccination along with awareness campaigns. This would be followed by “Vaccination Toli” which would ensure that all eligible citizens are vaccinated with the first and second doses.
“Lets us ensure collectively through collaborative and multi-stakeholder efforts that no eligible citizen is left without the ‘Suraksha Kawachh’ of Covid-19 vaccine in the country. Let us reach out to every household across the country and motivate people to take both the doses under Prime Minister’s Har Ghar Dastak campaign”, Mandaviya said.
Mandaviya stressed on the strategies of multiple vaccination teams to ensure 100 per cent coverage in the targeted area in a time-bound manner, development of a ranking mechanism for identifying and facilitating the vaccination teams which administer the maximum number of vaccine doses every 24 hours, utilising local weekly “bazaars” and “haats” for creating awareness and providing vaccination services and collaborating with local religious and community leaders in the meeting.
Multimedia IEC awareness campaigns should be launched to effectively counter anti-vaccine rumours and emulate innovative approaches and practices followed by high coverage districts within the States/UTs for adoption of similar strategies to achieve the target.
Noting that children can be the best ambassadors for behaviour change, he urged the states to rope in children for taking forward the message of full vaccination. “Let the children motivate their parents and the other family members to take both the vaccine doses”, he stated.
Mandaviya said that fight against Covid is not over, adding that, “The two weapons of vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour will be our greatest defence against it and we should not let our guard down before it is completely over.”
Terming vaccination as ‘Suraksha kawachh’, he reiterated the call of Prime Minister, “Dawai bhi Kadai bhi!”