India’s Health Ministry has directed states to rope in various stakeholders including NGOs, faith-based organizations, religious leaders, community influencers and other partners to achieve tfull COVID vaccination.
“We are in the last lap of COVID-19 vaccination. Let us launch aggressive campaign to ensure full COVID-19 vaccination by increasing the pace of vaccination and expanding the coverage, ” Indian Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said while virtually interacting with health secretaries and senior officials of the health department from Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Puducherry recently.
These states/UT have been reporting low vaccination coverage. While India's first dose coverage is at 82% and second dose coverage at 43%, Puducherry (66%, 39%), Nagaland (49%, 36%), Meghalaya (57%, 38%) and Manipur (54%, 36%) lag behind from national average in their first and second dose coverage.
Reiterating that vaccination is the most potent weapon in the fight against COVID19 pandemic, the Dr Mandaviya urged the States/UT to innovatively rope in all stakeholders including NGOs, faith-based organisations, religious leaders, community influencers and other partners to motivate and mobilise all eligible population towards full COVID Vaccination.
“Let us ensure collectively that no eligible citizen is left without the ‘Suraksha Kawachh’ of COVID19 vaccine in the country, and to address issues of hesitancy, misinformation, superstition etc,” hee added.
Dr. Mandaviya urged the states to deploy all state govt officials, one day each week, to visit each eligible household to motivate and mobilise them towards full vaccination.
He reiterated Prime Minister’s mop-up strategies for strengthening the ‘Har GharDastak’ campaign including deploying ‘PracharToli’ in advance to villages which would ensure mobilisation and counselling of the eligible population along with awareness campaigns, followed by the ‘Vaccination Toli’ who would ensure that all eligible citizens are vaccinated with the first and second dose.
“I have observed during my recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh the use of stickers of “Fully Vaccinated Home,” he added.
“Similar innovative strategies can be used in other states too”, he stated. States can also make children and students as COVID19 Vaccination Ambassadors to urge and motivate the elders and eligible members in their families and communities to take both doses of COVID19 vaccine, he added.
Dr. Mandaviya directed the states to prepare detailed district-wise micro plans, deploy adequate number of teams and to regularly review the daily progress of the low performing districts. States were urged to make innovative short videos to address target groups for hesitancy, along with effective use of various social media platforms and traditional media.
The minister engaged with the States/UT to know the specific reasons holding back the wide scaling up of vaccination drive under the ongoing ‘Har GharDastak’ campaign. He was apprised of the ongoing efforts by the State/UT administration to address issues of hesitancy.