Maharashtra to launch counselling drive to improve Covid vaccination numbers
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said the state health department has decided to launch a information, education and communication (IEC) drive and go for the counselling of health care workers (HCW) to improve the Covid vaccination percentage among them. The decision has been taken after the second day of the vaccination drive saw a 10 per cent fall, down to 54 from 64 per cent on day one on January 16.
The minister said the low turnout was due to the technical glitches witnessed in the Co-WIN app and because of the apprehension among the beneficiaries about the probable side effects of the vaccine.
“I would not call the turnout low, as Maharashtra saw among the highest responses in the country on day one. It is true that all the HCWs enrolled are not coming up for the vaccination, but we should not go into the percentage of the turnout. To improve it further, I am releasing a video appealing to our HCWs to come forward and set an example for others about the drive. Ultimately, they are the message givers and idols for many,” he said.
Tope said both the vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin - are safe for use and there has been no incident of any major reaction after vaccination.
“We still are facing technical problems with the Co-WIN app and some beneficiaries find their names cancelled after the initial enrolment. Second, the HCWs are still hesitant over safety and want to first gauge the efficacy for a few days of the drive. Because of these two reasons the turnout is not up to the mark,” Tope said.
The minister said that there should not be any apprehension about Bharat Biotech Limited’s Covaxin as it has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India and ratified by the scientists as safe for use.
The ministers were not participating in the drive, Tope said, as it’s against the set protocol of the vaccination. “First two phases are meant for HCWs and frontline workers and I would not break the rules set by the Centre. I would be the first person to go for it, when my turn comes,” he said.
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