March 31, 2021 1:06:11 am
Seeing tepid response to the Covid vaccination drive till now, the Punjab Health Department will be increasing vaccination sites to at least 5,000 from April 1 when the drive opens for entire population above 45 years of age, revealed Punjab’s Principal Secretary, Health, Husan Lal.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Husan Lal said that from April 1, vaccination sites will be increased to 5,000 including government hospitals, health and wellness centres, primary health centres, community health centres, ayurveda and homeopathy facilities and private hospitals.
“Currently, nearly a thousand vaccination sites are functional in Punjab including government and private. To ensure that maximum persons are vaccinated from April 1 and eligible beneficiaries don’t have to go far to get the vaccine, we are increasing sites to at least 5,000 and all private hospitals have been instructed that they have to provide Covid vaccine facility,” said Lal. He said that nearly 65-70 lakh persons are expected to be the eligible beneficiaries in Punjab once the drive opens for all above 45 from April 1.
Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, nodal officer, Covid-19, Punjab said that apart from nearly 4,300 government health facilities, including Civil Hospitals, medical colleges and hospitals, community health centres, primary health centres among others, 600 private facilities empaneled under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) have been instructed to provide vaccination facility from April 1.
“Those private hospitals and centres who were not participating till now have also been included now and they have agreed to provide the facility. With the vaccination sites being increased to at least 5,000 from April 1, we are hoping for a big jump in vaccination numbers in Punjab,” said Dr Bhaskar, adding that in rural areas, all government dispensaries, community and primary health centres, health and wellness centres etc., will be providing vaccination facility.
“In rural areas, all senior medical officers (SMOs) posted in government facilities have got themselves vaccinated and those who haven’t, have been instructed to do so, to motivate the rural population at village-level,” said Dr Bhaskar, adding that an intense campaign to motivate people through posters, jingles etc was already ongoing at the ground level by the health department. “We are working to shun vaccine hesitancy,” he said.
In the campaign posters that have been publicised by state’s health department, the slogan says: “Tuhadi madad layi, saadi madad karo (Help us, help you)”.
Vaccination drive so far
A total of 7.93 lakh vaccines doses have been administered in Punjab till Tuesday, as per the latest figures. These includes 3.17 lakh healthcare and frontline workers and 3.73 lakh persons aged above 60 and 45 plus with comorbidities, who have been given first dose. The second dose has been given to 1.02 lakh healthcare and frontline workers and 308 persons in category of 60 above and 45 plus with comorbidities.
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