Centre will soon start a mega COVID-19 vaccination campaign ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ in poor-performing districts aiming to achieve full vaccination by the end of November, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday.
“We are going to launch a mega vaccination campaign ‘Har Ghar Dastak’. We have decided that for the next one month, healthcare workers will go door-to-door to vaccinate people eligible for the second dose and also those who have not takenthe first dose,” the minister told media persons.
Mandaviya on Wednesday chaired a national review meeting with health ministers of states and UTs to discuss the scaling up of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country.
According to the minister, 77 per cent of the eligible population in India has been vaccinated against COVID with the first dose while 32 per cent people have received both doses. “More than 10 crores people have not taken the second dose of vaccine. People who are eligible for the second dose should take the vaccine,” he added.
Highlighting the need to accelerate the pace and coverage of vaccination, he stated that there are more than 10.34 crore people in the country who have not taken the second dose after the prescribed interval.
Speaking to ANI, Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo raised concerns about the number of people who have dropped out of taking the second dose of the COVID vaccine. A cause of worry is that a huge number of people have dropped out from taking the second dose of COVID vaccine. Wherever there is vaccine hesitancy, we should reach out to people through social, religious, and other organisations,” Deo said.
He added, “Wherever there is a deficiency, there is always scope for trying to do better.” Deo also said that vaccination hesitancy has not been witnessed in Chhattisgarh.
Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh told ANI that 67 per cent of the eligible population in the state have taken the first dose while the second dose has been administered to about 21 per cent of people. “We will fully vaccinate people with the first dose while for the second dose we will try our best with the solutions given by the Union Health Minister,” he added.
Uttarakhand Health Minister Dhan Singh Rawat after the meeting told ANI that people in the state have been fully vaccinated with the first dose while more than 50 per cent have been administered the second dose.
The Union Health Minister also stated that adequate vaccine doses were available in the country, and more than 12 crore balance unutilized doses are available with the States for administering. “No district should be without full vaccination”, he exhorted the States. He further added- “Let us aim to cover all eligible with 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine by end-November 2021.
During the meeting, the state health ministers were requested to ensure continuous oversight on the progress of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme. Mandaviya urged the State and UTs to make regional and local level plans with all the stakeholders to reduce the number of people with vaccination overdue. He also urged for innovative strategies to encourage them to achieve their targets to review the planning and execution of district-wise plans for coverage of due beneficiaries of the second dose as available on the Co-WIN portal.Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar was also present during the national review meeting. State Health Ministers Alo Libang (Arunachal Pradesh), Keshab Mahanta (Assam), Mangal Pandey (Bihar), T S Singhdeo (Chhattisgarh), Satyendra Jain (Delhi) Rushikesh Patel (Gujarat), Dr Narrotam Mishra (Home Minister Madhya Pradesh), Dr Mani Kumar Sharma (Sikkim), M A Subramanian (Tamil Nadu), Jai Pratap Singh (Uttar Pradesh), Dhan Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand), Dr Subhash Garg (Rajasthan), Banna Gupta (Jharkhand) participated in the review meeting. State officials along with Mission Directors (NHM) from various states were also present. Mandaviya highlighted the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi guiding the recently launched PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-BHIM).”COVID has given us the opportunity to analyse the gaps in our existing health infrastructure. We have also learned that in a federal democracy, the Centre and States working in a synchronized collaborative mode can achieve significant milestones”. He informed that with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore, PM-AB HIM, announced in the Budget 2021-22, is the largest pan-India Health Infrastructure Scheme and would provide a much-needed fillip to India’s capacityto address emergent Public Health issues. This will give a major boost to India’s healthcare infrastructure and make it more resilient, he added. He urged the States to make strategies for timely utilization of the allocated funds under the new Mission. Mandaviya also requested State Health Ministers to ensure that plans and implementation schedules for the ECRP-II are reviewed for timely completion of the proposed initiatives and schemes. Speaking about India’s philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Dr. Mandaviya said that India’s pharma sector is fulfilling this philosophy by catering to people with new cost-effective treatments and vaccines. “India supplied essential drugs to the world during first wave of COVID. The world reciprocated and helped India during the second wave”, he stated. Praising the efforts of Indian scientists and researchers, he said that there is no dearth of brain and manpower in India. “India is rightly called ‘pharmacy of the world’ due to its quality drugs. It is a matter of immense pride for India that we have manufactured the COVID vaccine and also administered 100 Cr doses in a short span since 16th Jan 2021″, hestated. The Union Health Minister further exhorted the State Health Ministers to ensure that the country’s goals for TB elimination, AIDS control and treatment, and other non-COVID schemes are kept in sharp focus. Dr Mandaviya assured the Health Ministers that the Centre will extend all support and assistance to the States/UTs in matters of health. “In a federal democracy, the Centre and States form a collaborative platform. We should work as a team for ensuring Swastha Bharat, Samruddh Bharat”, he said. The State Health Ministers heartily thanked the Union Health Minister for this interactive meeting which gave them the opportunity to discuss various issues at a personal level. As desired and assured by Mandaviya, an interactive group with State Health Ministers has been created on WhatsApp to facilitate real-time interaction with the Union Health Minister.