After India confirmed two omicron cases of the coronavirus in Karnataka on Thursday, there is some good news waiting in the wings. Government data shows that the Narendra Modi-led central government’s door-to-door vaccination drive, ‘Har Ghar Dastak’, has been able to boost Covid-19 vaccinations. So, amid global panic over omicron, high vaccination coverage can boost India’s morale as it gears up to prepare for the new variant.
According to data presented to the media, the first dose coverage has gone up by 5.9 per cent since the launch of the initiative whereas the second dose coverage has increased by 11.7 per cent. The central government had launched ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ in November in order to increase vaccination coverage.
Under the campaign, healthcare workers visit homes to administer the second dose to eligible beneficiaries, and also give the first dose to those who have not yet taken it. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness, mobilisation of resources and vaccination of all eligible beneficiaries.
Overall, more than 125 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the country, so far. “It is a significant milestone that India has achieved. The hard work involved in the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign has started paying off. The momentum should increase further," said Dr VK Paul, chief of the Covid-19 task force and member, health, NITI Aayog.
He added, “Vaccination is the most critical tool in fighting the battle against Covid-19 and its variants. We are fortunate that we have that tool available in plenty in our country and, hence, must protect every individual."
In Uttar Pradesh, first dose coverage has increased by almost 9 per cent since the launch of the door-to-door campaign, whereas, in West Bengal and Chhattisgarh, the coverage has gone up by around 8 per cent.
Similarly, for the second dose, the uptake of which has remained sluggish due to many reasons, the coverage has noticeably gone up in states such as Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir as well as Gujarat.
In Madhya Pradesh, the coverage has increased by 25 per cent since the launch of the programme, taking the state’s total vaccination coverage over 60 per cent. In Himachal Pradesh, the coverage increased by 28.7 per cent, nearing the total vaccination coverage to over 92 per cent.
The data shows that the first dose was administered to 79.16 crore people, which is over 84 per cent of the adult population whereas the second dose has been taken by around 46 crore people making up 49 per cent of the adult population.