New Delhi [India] : Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya virtually conducted a meeting on Monday to review the status of COVID-19 vaccination in Puducherry, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur. “We are in the last lap of COVID19 vaccination. Let us launch an aggressive campaign to ensure full COVID-19 vaccination by increasing the pace of vaccination and expanding the coverage,” stated Mandaviya.
The meeting was attended by the health secretaries and senior officials of the Health Department from Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Puducherry.
According to the Union Health Ministry, these states and Union Territory have been reporting low vaccination coverage. While India’s first dose coverage is at 82 per cent and second dose coverage 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 from national average in their first and second dose coverage.
Reiterating that vaccination is the most potent weapon in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Health Minister urged the states and UT 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 COVID vaccination.
He further said, “Let us ensure collectively that no eligible citizen is left without the ‘Suraksha Kawachh’ of COVID-19 vaccine in the country, and to address issues of hesitancy, misinformation, superstition etc.”
Mandaviya also urged the states to deploy all state government officials, one day each week, to visit each eligible household to motivate and mobilise them towards full vaccination.
He reiterated the Prime Minister’s mop-up strategies for strengthening the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign including deploying ‘Prachar Toli’ in advance to villages which would ensure mobilisation and counselling of the eligible population along with awareness campaigns, followed by the ‘Vaccination Toli’ who would ensure that all eligible citizens are vaccinated with the first and second dose.
“States can also make children and students as COVID-19 vaccination ambassadors to urge and motivate the elders and eligible members in their families and communities to take both doses of COVID-19 vaccine,” he added.
Mandaviya also urged the states to prepare detailed district-wise micro plans, deploy an adequate number of teams and regularly review the daily progress of the low performing districts.
States were urged to make innovative short videos to address target groups for hesitancy, along with effective use of various social media platforms and traditional media.