Updated: November 3, 2021 6:50:26 pm
Speaking during an online review meet with districts reporting low Covid-19 vaccination coverage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged healthcare workers to conduct door-to-door vaccinations and create awareness by dispelling misinformation with the help of local religious leaders.
Emphasising on micro-strategies, PM Modi said that district authorities must come up with innovative ways to increase the pace of vaccination, highlighting that states which have administered the first dose to 100 per cent of their population had also faced different challenges with geography and resources, “but these districts overcame those challenges to go ahead.”
“If you want, make a different strategy for each village and each town in your districts. You can also do this by forming a team of 20-25 people depending on the region and try to have a healthy competition among the teams that you have formed,” PM Modi suggested, adding that “so far, you’ve been working to take people to vaccination centres, now it’s time to reach every house for the door-to-door vaccine.”
During the meet, the prime minister commended the work of the administrative authorities and ASHA workers, who walked for miles to ensure that the Covid vaccines reach remote locations. “But if we become lax after 1 billion (doses), a new crisis can come,” PM Modi said, adding that “diseases and enemies should be fought against till the very end.“
The prime minister added that rumours and misconceptions are a big challenge to the Covid-19 vaccination drive. “The solution to this is to create awareness among people. You can take the help of local religious leaders for this. You can make short videos featuring these leaders and circulate them to every house,” he said.
“Just a few days ago, I met Pope Francis at the Vatican. We will also have to lay special emphasis on taking the message of religious leaders on vaccine to the public,” PM Modi added.
He stated that alongside the first dose of vaccine, special attention will have to be paid to the second dose as well. “Because whenever the cases of infection start decreasing, sometimes the feeling of urgency decreases. People start feeling that, what is the hurry, we will put it,” PM Modi said.
As per the data by the health ministry, 48 districts have been identified as lagging behind — with first-dose coverage still below 50 per cent. Twenty-seven of the 48 districts are in states of the Northeast, including eight districts each in Manipur and Nagaland. Among all states, Jharkhand has the most districts — nine — with less-than-50 per cent first-dose vaccination coverage, data showed.
— With inputs from PTI, ANI
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