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PM review meeting: Heavy rains, inadequate doses among reasons for low vaccination coverage, say Maharashtra district collectors

Officials in districts with low vaccination coverage were exhorted by the Prime Minister to widen vaccination coverage by the end of the year.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: November 3, 2021 9:47:03 pm
pune news, pune local news, pune breaking news, 24th September 2021, pune news headlines, pune city news, pune news live, pune Coronavius, Maharashtra Coronavius News, Maharashtra Coronavius Live Updates, pune Coronavius Cases, pune News Today, Coronavirus Cases in pune, pune Weather Forecast Live Updates, pune news, pune latest news, pune news today, visharaj hospital, rekha dubey, prasad rajhans, loni-kalbhor, covid, pune headlines, Maharashtra schools reopening, pune schools, pune latest news, pune news, pune news today high alert, pune lockdown latest news today, pune news lockdown today, what is happening in pune today, pune news high alert, pune covid update, pune news updates, pune covid-19, pune covid cases, pune coronavirus, pune coronavirus death, pune coronavirus active cases, Pune latest news, Today news Pune, Pune rain alert, Pune heavy rainfall, pune weatherman,A total of 9.8 crore vaccine doses have been administered in Maharashtra till November 2, of which 1.61 crore beneficiaries above 45 years of age are fully vaccinated with both doses while 1.21 crore in the age group 18-44 years have got both doses. (File)

Heavy rains in September and October and inadequate vaccine doses were among the reasons for low Covid-19 vaccination coverage among some districts in Maharashtra, according to officials at a review meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

From Maharashtra, the district collectors of Aurangabad, Nandurbar and Buldhana were present at the review meeting, which was held with authorities across more than 40 districts in various states. Officials in districts with low vaccination coverage were exhorted by the Prime Minister to widen vaccination coverage by the end of the year.

A total of 9.8 crore vaccine doses have been administered in Maharashtra till November 2, of which 1.61 crore beneficiaries above 45 years of age are fully vaccinated with both doses while 1.21 crore in the age group 18-44 years have got both doses.

Aurangabad has administered over 25 lakh vaccine doses while Nandurbar has administered over 10 lakh. In Buldhana, more than 16 lakh vaccine doses have been administered while Akola has administered over 11 lakh.

“The target is to complete 1.56 crore vaccinations in Aurangabad division — more than 90 lakh doses have been administered so far,” Aurangabad divisional commissioner Sunil Kendrekar told The Indian Express. He said there were heavy rains from September onwards that caused damage to roads and the administrative machinery was engaged in fighting this natural calamity. Crops have also been damaged.

“This is also the rabi crop sowing season. To encourage more beneficiaries to get vaccinated, we have designed a strategy where political and religious leaders will be contacted and urged to appeal to groups to get vaccinated,” Kendrekar said.

The vaccination drive has been stepped up and 1-1.25 lakh doses per day are being administered in Aurangabad division, which includes Aurangabad, Beed, Jalna and Latur districts, Kendrekar said. He said they would plan strategies where a polling booth would be synonymous with a vaccination booth.

Sunil Chavan, the Aurangabad district collector who was present in the video conference, said initially there was some hesitancy. “However, we are hopeful of engaging with key groups to intensify IEC activity and encourage beneficiaries to get vaccinated,” Chavan said, while responding to Prime Minister Modi’s query on low vaccination in the district.

Some districts lost the initial advantage of receiving vaccine doses as a major share was sent to Mumbai and Pune, apart from other districts due to the high number of Covid infections reported there. For instance, there was a period in Nandurbar when not a single Covid infection was reported there.

Nandurbar District Collector Manisha Khatri, who was present at the video conference, told The Indian Express that they have planned a mass vaccination drive.

“On Tuesday we administered 29,000 vaccine doses and hope to cross 30,000 vaccinations today. We are mobilising and motivating people to get vaccinated before Diwali and take rest and spend time at home. At market places and fire cracker stalls, shopowners are being encouraged to get their employees vaccinated. After sustained efforts, we are also seeing a good turnout in the minority population as well,” Khatri said.

Nandurbar has reported 40,007 cases and 948 deaths due to Covid-19 so far. “The target of beneficiaries is 14 lakh and so far, 7.5 lakh people have got the first vaccine dose while three lakh are fully vaccinated,” Khatri said. Khatri said they will also involve mobile clinics in the vaccination drive.

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