Cover 90% with first dose by Nov 30: Govt
There are 45 districts that are still seeing a heavy lag in vaccination coverage, shows govt data.
The Union government has asked all states to plan to achieve at least 90% first dose Covid vaccination coverage by the end of November, stressing on the need to accelerate the immunisation drive for which several regions with low rates have launched a house-to-house canvassing effort being called Har Ghar Dastak.
The advisory was issued in a virtual meeting last month and the Union health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, later wrote to states separately asking them to make efforts to the effect.
“You would recall that in the video conference held on 18th October 2021, with all the states and Union Territories, it was advised that States/UTs should plan to achieve about 90% coverage of 1st dose by November-end and timely administration of 2nd dose,” said Bhushan in his letter issued on October 20 that HT has accessed. “…I request you to kindly direct concerned officials to initiate the process of planning for timely completion of full vaccination of all adult citizens and implement it at the earliest. I would also expect that the progress of 2nd dose administration is reviewed on a daily basis by you and your team,” it added.
According to government data, at least 78% of India’s eligible population has been administered the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine while 38% has been fully vaccinated.
“Even though there is no substantial data available globally to support a particular percentage of population that if fully vaccinated will provide the necessary safety cover. Ideally, it should be 90-95% of the population but that is not immediately possible, therefore, we should try to cover as high as possible, and as fast as possible,” said Dr Giridhara Babu, head, epidemiology, Indian Institute of Public Health.
According to the Co-WIN dashboard, the coverage of first doses across Indian states ranges from 61% to more than 100%.
The government data shows there are currently 45 districts in India that are still seeing a heavy lag in vaccination coverage as they are yet to administer even a single shot to more than half of their adult population. The districts belong to states such as Arunchal Pradesh (6 districts), Assam (1), Chhattisgarh (1), Haryana (1), Jharkhand (8), Maharashtra (5), Manipur (8), Meghalaya (4), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (8), Tamil Nadu (1) and Delhi (1).
To plug the gap in vaccination coverage, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched the special door-to-door drive that will be held between November 3 and 30.
“We have allowed the states to send their health care workers door to door to identify those who have not been vaccinated yet or those who are due to take their second shot...,” said a senior central government official aware of the matter, on condition of anonymity.