Centre flags slow pace of Covid vaccination in some states, announces campaign to raise uptake

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Concerned about the dip in Covid-19 vaccinations in some states, the Centre on Friday flagged the declining numbers in the last several weeks and announced that a two-month-long campaign will be launched beginning June to accelerate the vaccination coverage in the country.

The door-to-door campaign ‘Har Ghar Dastak 2.0’ will cover the entire eligible population with first, second and even booster doses, according to the Union health ministry statement.

The ministry pointed out that the uptake of booster doses among people aged 18-59 years is very poor, and Covid-19 vaccinations for the 12-14 age group have also not reached the desired pace yet.

So far, nearly 192 crore Covid-19 vaccine shots have been administered. But less than 17 lakh people aged 18-59 years have opted for the booster doses since paid booster doses were started for all adults beginning April 10.

Only about 1.3 crore children aged 12-14 years have been fully vaccinated yet.

In a review meeting with states, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan also told the states that there was no need to ask for documentary proof of foreign travel for those seeking a booster dose for travelling abroad.

The Centre had relaxed rules for those travelling abroad to receive their third or booster jabs as per the requirement of the country of the travel, provided they have completed three months since their second dose. For others, the gap of nine months between the second and the third jab remains.

Bhushan also urged states to prevent Covid-19 vaccine wastage by using vaccine vials before expiry.

The ‘Har Ghar Dastak 2.0’ campaign will also focus on nursing homes, schools and colleges, including out-of-school children, prisons and brick kilns.

The states have been urged to undertake effective monitoring with micro-plans based on due lists of all eligible beneficiaries.