Underlining the urgent need for an intensive 'mission mode' push to COVID-19 vaccination across the country to accelerate the recent placid momentum, the Centre on Friday advised all states to plan for a two-month- long 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign 2.0 from June. The health ministry urged the states and union territories to significantly expedite the pace towards full vaccination coverage by saturating all eligible beneficiaries, a ministry statement said.
In a meeting of states and union territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan strongly advised that it should be ensured there is no wastage of Covid vaccines at any cost. This must be ensured through active monitoring and on basis of 'first expiry first out' principle, where doses that expire earlier should be used for vaccination first, states and union territories were told.
Highlighting the urgent need for an intensive 'mission mode' push to Covid vaccination across the country to accelerate the recent placid momentum, the Union health secretary has advised them to plan for a two-month long 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign 2.0, during June-July, with detailed district, block and village levels plans, the statement said.
The objective of the 'Har Ghar Dastak2.0' abhiyan is to vaccinate and saturate the eligible population groups for first, second and precaution doses through door-to-door campaigns, with focussed campaigns for old age homes, schools and colleges including the out-of-school children (for focussed coverage of children aged 12-18 years population), prisons, brick kilns, etc. The sub-optimal coverage of persons aged 60 years and above with precaution dose which renders them vulnerable, along with considerably slower speed of coverage in the 12-14 years cohort was pointed out. States and union territories were urged to undertake effective monitoring with micro-plans based on due-lists of all eligible beneficiaries. They were also urged to review administration of precaution dose to 18-59 years age-group with the private hospitals on a regular basis, the statement said.
Bhushan stressed on a clear and effective communication strategy for increasing the pace of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination, noting that customised regional communication best practices have yielded appreciable results in India's highly commendable COVID-19 coverage of over 191 crore doses. Focus on regional influencers, community leaders, innovative campaigns, etc., was highlighted. With data on state-wise availability of vaccines vs. due beneficiaries, states and union territories were informed about the stock of near-expiry vaccine doses lying unused with them, the statement said.
Underscoring that COVID-19 vaccine is a precious national resource, they were strongly advised to ensure that there is no wastage at any cost. This must be ensured through active monitoring and on basis of 'first expiry first out' principle, where doses that expire earlier should be used for vaccination first. Pointing out that supply of vaccine doses has been made to states and union territories according to their demand since December 2021, they were advised to first use the unused balance doses over the coming months of May, June and July, the statement stated.
It was pointed out that in some states, people who wish to travel abroad and seek to take a precaution dose within 90 days of the second dose, are being asked to furnish proof of the intended foreign journey, the statement said. Bhushan reiterated that under no circumstances should any Covid vaccination centre or any state government insist on any documentary proof of foreign travel for those who are seeking a precaution dose ahead of their travel abroad. Communication in this regard has already been shared with states and union territories.