Many RWAs achieve full vaccination as Delhi govt pushes for more shots
Around 50 group housing societies in Dwarka, and several societies in south Delhi including in Hauz Khas and Vasant Kunj, have achieved 100% full vaccination – all adult residents and even domestic help, guards and other staff engaged in these premises are fully jabbed -- as the Delhi government turns its focus on individual resident welfare associations (RWAs) to push up inoculation in the Capital.
A full vaccination course is crucial for adequate protection from Covid-19, according to experts and real-world evidence from many countries. Delhi achieved 100% first dose vaccination on December 24 last year, and 81% of 1.5 crore eligible adults have received their second dose.
Officials said district authorities have begun distributing certificates of full vaccination to representatives from these societies. Many markets in the Capital, including the Sarojini Nagar market, have already achieved 100% vaccination status and have been issued certificates.
District magistrate (south-west) Vikram Singh Malik, under whose jurisdiction Dwarka is located, said the administration has started distributing certificates to all the fully vaccinated RWAs to recognise their efforts. “Full vaccination is very important in the fight against coronavirus disease. The district authorities have been encouraging the RWAs to achieve full vaccination, holding special vaccination camps in large group housing societies under ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign to ensure that every eligible person is fully vaccinated. Around 50 group housing societies have been issued certificates so far,” Malik told HT.
According to documents from district authorities, seen by HT, in Hauz Khas sub division, RWA Navjivan Vihar, RWA D Block Saket, RWA B Block GK-1, RWA Green Park Ext, RWA Khirki Ext, RWA Sarvpriya Vihar and all RWA Safdarjung Enclave have achieved 100% full vaccination. Documents also show similar 100% coverage in several societies in Mehrauli, Saket and several other areas.
RWA officials of several fully vaccinated societies claimed that while their societies were badly affected during the second wave, they reported mostly asymptomatic cases and quick recoveries during the current Omicron wave.
Sudha Sinha, president of the Federation of CGHS Dwarka Limited, a group of RWAs in Dwarka, said societies under it reported several deaths too during the second wave, adding that it is not the case this time. “In RWA meetings, stress is always given on encouraging one another in the societies to go for timely completion of second doses of the Covid-19 vaccination. The district authorities also helped in the exercise by organising vaccination camps in different societies,” said Sinha.
Dwarka has 351 CGHS societies and in each of them around 125 to 300 residents live.
Dr Ruby Makhija, secretary Navjiwan Vihar in Malviya Nagar, said over 300 residents were infected and several were hospitalised from their society during the previous waves. “Now that every adult is vaccinated, the current Omicron wave did not affect the society much. Almost all infected during the current wave were asymptomatic and quickly recovered,” said Makhija, adding that the RWA organised multiple paid and free vaccination camps for the residents.
“We also helped several residents facing trouble booking vaccination slots. We held several meetings to make residents aware about the benefits of double vaccination and motivated them to get vaccinated on time,” Makhija said.
DM (south) Sonalika Jiwani said that the district authorities have been holding meetings with the RWAs over vaccines. “We have set up a call centre in the district from where people whose second dose is due are being called and asked to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Jiwani.
S Bala Srinivasan, president of Shivlok Society Sector 6 in Dwarka, said many people were initially sceptical about getting the vaccines but the management committee of the society identified each of them and addressed their fears. “During the second wave, 40 out of 120 families were down with Covid and displayed proper symptoms, but in the current wave, most of those infected reported mild symptoms or were asymptomatic,” said Srinivasan, a retired central government officer.
DM (south-east) Vishwendra (goes only by first name) said several societies in the district have achieved 100% vaccination status. “The number of fully vaccinated housing societies will further increase because many have already achieved 95-99% vaccination status. All these societies are being encouraged to get the rest of the adults get the second dose,” said Vishwendra.
Officials said they have also set up call centres across all districts and are calling those people whose second doses are due, asking them to get the jab as soon as possible.
Experts said full vaccination is in everyone’s favour.
Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung hospital, said, “Completing two doses of Covid-19 vaccination has improved chance of lesser mortality and severity as compared to single dose or no vaccination. If everyone in the country is vaccinated with all the due doses, then the next Covid-19 waves may not be severe and may not create havoc.”
Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the epidemiology and communicable diseases department in ICMR, said the first doses create only some amount of antibodies, which can be short-lived. “The second dose greatly increases the number of immune cells and their ability to make antibodies against the virus. The vaccines reach their full effectiveness about two to three weeks after the second shot,” he said.
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