Need to encourage more people to take Covid-19 vaccine

Monday Musing

[ Junroi Mamai ]

According to the union health ministry data, the total number of Covid-19 infections in the country has reached 1,13,59,048. Till Sunday, India reported 25,317 new Covid-19 cases, while the total death toll has risen to 1, 58,607.

India currently has 1.97 lakh active Covid-19 cases and more new cases are reported from parts of the country like Maharashtra and Punjab, which is a matter of concern.

Though vaccination against Covid-19 is going on in the country since 16 January, the rate of vaccination is slow. This is suggested by the data of the health & family welfare ministry, which shows that 2.14 crore people have been administered the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine till 12 March, 2021, while only 47.29 lakh people have been given both doses of the vaccination.

According to a latest report in Business Today, at this current rate India will take 12.6 years to vaccinate 70 percent of the population. The current pace of vaccination needs to be improved at all costs because the longer it takes, the more we are at risk.

In our state, the health department has claimed that it has since 16 January achieved around 57 percent vaccine coverage, which includes frontline and healthcare workers.

Currently, the second phase of vaccination is going on for people aged above 60 years and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities. As per the health department’s data, around 500 people above 45 years of age with comorbidities have been inoculated in the state since 1 March and 16,00 people above 60 years have been vaccinated.

In total, over 34,000 people have been given the first dose, while over 9,000 have received the second dose of the vaccine in the state.

According to the NHM nodal officer and overall supervisor for Covid-19 vaccination in the state Dr Dimong Padung, the progress of vaccination is good despite many people still being hesitant to get themselves inoculated against the disease.

Some health officials have, however, stated that the total rate of healthcare workers coming forward to get inoculated is not encouraging at all. The officials claim that initially around 34,000 healthcare workers registered their names for vaccination but only a few came forward to receive it.

An official has admitted that, as far as vaccination amid healthcare and frontline workers is concerned, the department is not achieving much. The department was expecting around 80 to 90 percent coverage of healthcare workers, including field level workers, anganwadi workers and ASHAs, but the outcome is less than encouraging. To address this, the department has been conducting trainings and meetings regularly to encourage healthcare workers to shed any apprehension regarding the vaccine.

Officials have claimed that, despite the department making vaccination process more accessible for the people under the second phase, not many are enthusiastic about it. Reportedly, in the capital region, only a few people above 60 years and 45 years and above with comorbidities have turned up to get the vaccine. There is an urgent need for more people to come forward.