November 2, 2021 10:09:01 pm
As many as 74.94 lakh individuals in Maharashtra who have got the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine have missed their second dose. To boost immunisation, the state government will now start a door-to-door vaccination drive in rural areas.
The state immunisation department is making a district-wise list of first-dose beneficiaries who have either delayed or skipped the second shot after completing the required time gap between the two doses.
Until November 1, 59.67 lakh beneficiaries were yet to take the second shot of Covishield. Also, 15.27 lakh individuals who have been inoculated with Covaxin have missed their second dose in the state.
“Earlier, when the pandemic curve was at its peak, people were eager to take the vaccines. Centres were overflowing with beneficiaries. We were running out of vials in 24 hours. Now, when we have the vials, the turnout is less,” said Dr Premkumar Thombare, immunization officer at Hingoli district.
In September, the central government allowed door-to-door vaccination at home for disabled people and those with restricted mobility. But now, under the newly launched scheme Har Ghar Dastak, on Monday, the central government authorised the state to initiate door-to-door vaccination in rural districts. Now the state immunisation department is chalking out the protocols to initiate the process.
“As per the rules of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a beneficiary needs to be kept under observation for 30 minutes after taking the jab. So, we are planning to keep the vaccinators in the same area until the observation period gets over so in case of any adverse reaction, they can provide timely intervention,” said Dr Sachin Desai, state immunization officer. “It will take us 3-4 days to complete the protocols required for door-to-door vaccination.”
So far, the district immunization officers have been knocking at people’s doors and counselling the partially unvaccinated and unvaccinated people to get the jab. But the officers said that 90% of them eventually don’t show up at the centres.
“To facilitate the vaccination, we have been arranging vaccination drives on the ground, schools and colleges in the villages. But due to low response, we sometimes have to walk them to the centres for vaccination,” said Dr Dilip Ranmale, district health officer, Amravati.
The National Covid Task Force gave a thumbs up to door-to-door vaccination, saying that it is the need of the hour.
“Even though the daily count of Covid-19 cases has declined in the state, it is essential to get fully vaccinated. As witnessed worldwide, the requirement of hospitalisation is less among the fully immunised beneficiaries. Also, with different variants looming, it is always advisable to get both the shots,” said Dr Subhas Salunke, member of the National Covid Task Force.
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