Updated: January 16, 2022 9:39:30 am
After inoculating around 2 lakh pregnant women and lactating mothers in the capital, the Delhi government has decided to deploy ASHA and anganwadi workers to create awareness and encourage those left to get the Covid-19 vaccine. It is also planning to set up exclusive centres, such as pink booths, in all sub-divisions and prioritise pregnant women at government vaccination centres. There are about 4,000 ASHA and anganwadi workers in all 11 districts.
Under the campaign, workers will visit each division, sub-division, RWA, colony, street, and slum cluster to talk about why vaccination is important for expectant women, who constitute 2% of Delhi’s total population, and to break the myth that it is harmful for the baby.
“We have taken several measures and have vaccinated more than 100% (with one dose), but there is still hesitancy among people. There are many myths surrounding lactating mothers and how the shot might affect the baby. So, the primary aim of the campaign is to break this myth and vaccinate all pregnant women and lactating mothers,” said a senior government official.
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District authorities have also tied up with ‘Saheli Samanvay Kendras’ to specifically vaccinate pregnant women and lactating mothers. These kendras, numbering 500, were launched last year to empower and educate women.
The government has also decided to make vaccination mandatory for women visiting Asha clinics and government hospitals. “Women visiting Asha clinics or government hospitals will be asked to register for vaccines mandatorily, if unvaccinated. They will be supervised by doctors and counselled to get inoculated. District authorities are also calling and counselling these women,” said the official.
Dr Anjali Tempe, Director, Professor & Head of the Department Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Maulana Azad Medical College, said, “This is an excellent initiative… Vaccination is a must for everyone, but some pregnant women may have allergic reactions to drugs… Pregnant women should avoid vaccination till their first trimester, but the rest can get the shot after consulting doctors. Lactating mothers must take the vaccine since it is for the safety of both mother and child.”
Officials also added that unvaccinated people are testing positive more than others.
Districts are also focusing on vaccinating children in the 15-17 age group at shelter homes, those with special needs in the same category, and to elderly women in old-age homes.
As per officials, residents and staff at Asha Kiran, Delhi’s biggest shelter home, have got both doses. There are 759 residents, including children with special needs, and 492 staff. “Of the total inhabitants, only 3 tested positive but they are asymptomatic,” said an official from Asha Kiran.
As per government data, 2.78 crore doses have been administered — 1.59 crore have got the first dose and 1.19 crore have taken both doses — as of January 15.
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