New Delhi: The Union government on Saturday directed eight northeastern states along with Uttarakhand, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir to increase focus on second dose vaccination among the 60-plus population.
According to the Union Health Ministry’s release, this came as the Centre deemed the vaccine coverage in some of these states “unsatisfactory”.
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Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a review meeting with representatives from Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and the northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
The Health Secretary pointed out that the inoculation of both doses among the 60-plus population in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya is “unsatisfactory”.
“The vulnerability of people aged above 60 to COVID-19 makes this exercise of prime importance,” the Union Health Ministry stressed in the communication with these states.
The states and union territories were also asked to “quickly saturate” the first dose coverage among the 18-plus population.
In its statement, the Health Ministry informed that the attention of the states was brought to the fact that the administration of the first dose has progressively outpaced the administration of second dose.
“It was suggested that states earmark doses, earmark days and target the completion of the exercise for these beneficiaries,” the ministry stated.
The details of balance stock of 0.5 ml syringes, vaccination coverage among special groups such as transgender persons, persons with disabilities and prisoners and among women, particularly pregnant and lactating women, were also discussed.
The states and union territories were advised to closely monitor the stock from state-level stores to cold chain points, check rational distribution and restrict vaccine wastage to below two per cent, and update data on eVIN (electronic vaccine intelligence network) on a daily basis, Health ministry.
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