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Deadlines for Vaccine Announced, Phase 1 Mop-Up Rounds End On March 6

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on February 09, 2021 with No Comments

The third phase of vaccination — for people above the age group of 50 and those with co-morbidities like diabetes or hypertension — is expected to begin in March.
The Centre today issued a series of deadlines for vaccination of health workers and frontline workers in view of the tardy progress of some states. At least a single dose of vaccine has to be given by February 20, the mop-up rounds will have to be finished by February 24. For Frontline workers, the dates are March 1 and March 6.
“The failure of beneficiaries to get vaccinated in the mop-up rounds would automatically push them to their age-appropriate vaccination category,” the Union health ministry said today. This means those who miss the scheduled dates or mop-up rounds, would be vaccinated according to their age and co-morbidity.

The third phase of vaccination — for people above the age group of 50 and those with co-morbidities like diabetes or hypertension — is expected to begin in March.

While answering a question in Parliament on Friday, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had said, “It is difficult to announce any fixed date right now but it is expected that the third phase of the vaccination drive will start in the second, third or fourth week of March”.

The government’s announcement comes amid concerns of government officials and public health experts about the slow rate of vaccination in some states.

So far, 12 states have vaccinated less than 40 per cent of their registered healthcare workers. States that need to improve includes Tamil Nadu, which vaccinated 28.4 per cent beneficiaries, Punjab (34.1 per cent), Delhi (38.9 per cent), Puducherry (15.4 per cent), Manipur (21.3 per cent) and Nagaland (21.5 per cent).
Several public health experts have pointed to vaccine hesitancy – people’s reluctance to go ahead with the vaccination – as a key reason for the slow pace. Mr Paul, however, said today that vaccine hesitancy “has ended”.

“It may still be there at an individual level, but largely it is not there,” he said, adding the country is heading towards 1 crore vaccinations soon and the pace is going to pick up further.

“We had told you last time about our vaccination feedback database… 7.75 lakh people gave us feedback. 97.35 per cent people are satisfied with the overall experience of vaccination,” he added.
In the backdrop of concerns over the vaccines, all of which have been newly developed, Mr Paul said they have no concern about the efficacy of Covishield. “More vaccines are coming up,”he said, citing the Russian-made Sputnik and one from Cadilla (Zydus Cadilla)… Serum’s Novavax developments are being watched,”he said, adding that a nasally administered vaccine is also going on trial.

Asked when vaccines will be available in the open market, Mr Paul, Chairman of National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration) said, “Our public health goal is 30 crore people first. If vaccine availability is over and above this, then other options will open. But right now we have to wait and watch”.

 

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