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Polio supervisors identify people reluctant to get vaccine jab in Bihar

The polio supervisors are familiar with almost all family members residing in households in their area, as they reach out to every nook and cranny of a village to administer polio drops to children
Polio supervisors, who are generally auxiliary nursing midwives (ANMs), had undertaken a house-to-house survey on extent of Covid vaccinations during the pulse polio drive in Bihar (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo/Representative Use)
Published on Oct 05, 2021 09:55 AM IST

Bihar has roped in polio supervisors in the Covid-19 vaccination programme to identify and inoculate reluctant people in rural areas, said officials in the state health department.

Nearly 38% of the eligible adult population of 72.2 million in Bihar are yet to take their first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine and only 27% of the remaining 62% have taken their second dose, highlighting the challenge .

The health department on Monday launched an intensive three-day state-wide programme between October 4 and 6 and on October 8, 9 and 11 with polio supervisors tasked to lead vaccination teams in their areas.

The polio supervisors, who are generally auxiliary nursing midwives (ANMs), had also undertaken a house-to-house survey on extent of Covid vaccinations during the pulse polio drive in the state between September 26 and October 1.

“Their reporting format, during the recently culminated pulse polio campaign, had an additional column on eligible people in a household due for their second dose of Covid vaccine or still to take their first jab. The polio supervisors have marked all such households in their respective area,” said an officer privy to the programme.

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“Besides, they are familiar with almost all family members residing in households in their area, as they reach out to every nook and cranny of a village to administer polio drops to children as part of the recurring polio eradication campaign. They are now expected to know the households and the exact number of occupants who are reluctant to take the Covid jab,” he added.

As part of the strategy, the polio supervisors will give names of all such adults to the accredited social health activists (ASHA) and anganwadi sahayika (workers), who will then persuade them to come to the Covid vaccination sites for the jab, the officer added.

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The government, on its part, will identify these pockets and set up Covid vaccination session sites as close as possible to such households, he added.

Bihar administered over 3.040 million doses of Covid vaccine on October 2. It revised its day’s provisional figures of 27,96,173 doses after some data were uploaded on the CoWIN portal past midnight.

Bihar has administered over 57.5 million Covid shots to beneficiaries including 45.2 million first doses and 12.3 million second doses.

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