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Over 4 lakh jabbed, Chandigarh to focus on vaccinating staff in malls, shops

With 70,000 new vaccines expected to be procured in a few days, the plan is to coordinate with market committees across the city, and organise open sessions after 12 noon for this priority group in various health and wellness centres, dispensaries and community centres in the city.

Written by Parul | Chandigarh |
June 17, 2021 7:52:51 am
Chandigarh, Coronavirus vaccineA beneficiary takes the jab in Chandigarh. Express photo

Till now, 4,24,931 people have been administered the Covid-19 vaccine in Chandigarh. With vaccination considered the most important tool after masking up to prevent and control new infections, the focus will now be to reach out to priority and vulnerable groups, especially now that the new policy for Covid-19 vaccination in India will come into effect on June 21. As part of the new policy, the Centre will directly procure 75 per cent of the doses manufactured by vaccine companies, and distribute this among the states, and the vaccines will be given free to people. Private hospitals will have access to the remaining 25 per cent.

The common vaccine pool, as UT Director Health Services (DHS) Amandeep Kang describes, will give the department the flexibility to reach out to priority groups like people working in malls, shops, restaurants, schools and also people living in high-density areas, slums and colonies of Chandigarh and housing societies. With 70,000 new vaccines expected to be procured in a few days, the plan is to coordinate with market committees across the city, and organise open sessions after 12 noon for this priority group in various health and wellness centres, dispensaries and community centres in the city. Vaccination drives have been started in Rajiv Colony, Vikas Nagar, Dadu Majra and, according to Dr Kang, the target is to vaccinate 10,000 people a day, by opening more appointment slots, and also emphasising that dispensaries facilitate people of the sectors who are not educated, have no smart phones and can’t register for the vaccine and help them register on the spot.

“We are happy to facilitate vaccination camps at regular intervals, if market committees, restaurant owners, malls can reach out to us, so we can organise camps and cover the large population fast,” Dr Kang says.

With the vaccine gap between two doses increased for the 45 plus, there is more availability of vaccines, with the 18 plus coming out in huge numbers for inoculation. “Now with the cases down, we have our ambulances free. So we have got 10 vaccination teams ready to move across the city for better coverage. The vaccine hesitancy is almost negligible, and now it is a matter of demand and supply. People are concerned about the third wave, and want to be vaccinated. We have vaccinated about 3.5 lakh people with the first dose, and there are about 4 lakh below 18 who cannot be vaccinated, so I think we are on the right path. I feel if restaurant, shop owners, malls and other facilities ensure that their entire staff is vaccinated, and put stickers outside their establishments, it will give people more impetus to step into these places and feel safer, and this has to be a collective effort,” Dr Kang sums up.

Chandigarh gets excellent rating

Chandigarh received ‘excellent’ rating in Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) surveillance (reporting, investigation and causality assessment of AEFI cases) by Government of India, Department of Health and Family Welfare.

UT Adviser Manoj Parida congratulated the Health Department on this achievement.

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