Covid booster doses in states like Odisha, Bihar, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and a few others have performed better than the national average. The states like Bihar, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha recorded 26 per cent, 37 per cent, 39 per cent, 30 per cent and 38 per cent coverage respectively of their eligible population.
As per reports, only 24 per cent of the eligible population has been covered so far (As on September 16) under the precaution doses for Covid-19. This is despite the government’s campaign of free doses aimed to increase uptake of the precaution dose among the eligible adult population. The special 75-day campaign for administering free precaution doses will end in less than two weeks on September 30.
Government data revealed that there are many states like Haryana and Jharkhand where only 10 % of the eligible population has been covered for the precaution doses. As per the government data (As on September 16), states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and many others recorded less than the national average of 24 per cent of precaution dose coverage. States including Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka recorded precaution dose coverage of 13 per cent, 13 per cent, 15 per cent, 17 per cent and 19 per cent of their eligible population respectively.
Eligible populations are the persons who have completed 6 months from the date of administration of the 2nd dose. Around 19.14 crore people have been covered as of September 16 out of the total eligible population of 78.44 crores in the country. The Covid-19 precaution dose administration for the age group 18-59 years also started on 10th April 2022.
Thereafter, the ‘Covid Vaccine Amrit Mahotsav’ campaign was launched on July 15, 2022, to give an impetus to precaution doses as part of the national Covid vaccination drive. Under the campaign, free precaution doses at all government Covid vaccination centres for persons aged 18 years and above for 75 days (from July 15 to September 30, 2022) are being provided.
Being implemented in a ‘Mission Mode’ this special Covid vaccination drive is a part of the celebration for Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The special drive is aimed to increase the uptake of the precaution dose among the eligible adult population.
Earlier, States/UTs were urged to implement ‘Covid Vaccination Amrit Mahotsava’ for 75 days as ‘Jan Abhiyaan’ with huge mass mobilization, through a camp approach. They were advised to organise special vaccination camps on the routes of Char Dham Yatra (Uttarakhand), Amarnath Yatra (Jammu & Kashmir), Kanwar Yatra (all States/UTs of North India) as well as major melas and congregations.
States/UTs were advised to operationalise special workplace vaccination camps at big office complexes (public & private), industrial establishments, railway stations, inter-state bus stations, schools and colleges etc.
Besides, States/UTs were also advised to do wide advance publicity of this initiative in print, electronic, social and mass media. State health authorities were urged to undertake a regular weekly review of the progress at the state level.
As per the Ministry of Health, States/UTs were advised to ensure that the available Covid vaccine doses are consumed in a timely manner and no dose expires in both government and private facilities. States were requested to assess the requirement for the 75-day special drive as per the eligible population groups and inform the Centre. It was to enable the Union Ministry of Health to provide adequate doses to the States/UTs that need them. The principle of First Expiry, First Out shall continue to guide the Covid vaccination.
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