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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Can’t rest on 1 billion, go door to door: PM Modi to states

The Prime Minister interacted with over 40 districts with less than 50% first-dose coverage and low second-dose coverage of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi |
November 4, 2021 4:10:51 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File)

Underlining that the country cannot become complacent after achieving a landmark 1 billion vaccinations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged states to reach every doorstep to ensure full vaccination coverage.

The Prime Minister interacted with over 40 districts with less than 50% first-dose coverage and low second-dose coverage of the Covid-19 vaccine.

During the meeting, he urged district magistrates to “change gears” — and move from making arrangements for people to come to vaccination sites to administering vaccines at their homes.

“Now we are preparing to take the vaccination campaign to each household. With the mantra of ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ (A Knock on Every Door), every household lacking the security net of a double dose of vaccine will be approached,” Modi said.

“Our ASHA workers, other healthcare workers from every district and village have worked really hard (to achieve a billion cumulative vaccinations). They have walked long distances under challenging conditions to vaccinate people. However, if we become complacent after administering one billion doses, then there is a possibility that we will have a new problem. We have to fight it till the end,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister underlined specifically that while knocking on every door, equal attention needs to be paid to the second dose and the first dose.

“…Whenever the cases of infection start decreasing, sometimes the feeling of urgency decreases. The urgency in administering the vaccines comes down among the people. You will have to contact those people who have not taken the second dose despite the stipulated time on a priority basis… Ignoring this has created problems for many countries in the world,” Modi said.

Modi urged local administrations to find “innovative ways” to increase vaccination coverage in their districts. “…Now you have to work more on new, innovative ways to increase vaccination in districts. Even those districts that have achieved 100% first-dose coverage faced challenges. But they were met with determination and innovation,” he said.

Modi asked district magistrates to plan different strategies for each village or town, if needed. “We have months of experience on vaccination — and even the ASHA workers know how to fight the unknown enemy. Develop micro strategies, keeping in mind the experience so far to go for saturation of vaccination by addressing the gaps at the local level,” he said.

A team of 20-25 people should be constituted at the local level to implement the local strategy to increase vaccination, the Prime Minister said.

“You can also try to have a healthy competition in the teams that you have formed. You should also prepare region-wise timetables for local goals. Especially, women workers who perform the best in these situations have to be deployed. You will have to do your best to take your districts nearer to the national average,” he said.

Awareness is the “only solution” for rumours about vaccines, Modi said, and asked administrators to rope in religious leaders in their project.

“You should to take help from religious leaders. Religious leaders are very enthusiastic about the vaccination campaign. There should be special emphasis on taking the message of religious leaders on vaccines to the public,” Modi said.

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