Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding a review meeting with districts having low COVID-19 vaccination coverage, through video conferencing, in New Delhi on November 3, 2021.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding a review meeting with districts having low COVID-19 vaccination coverage, through video conferencing, in New Delhi on November 3, 2021.

Modi holds a review meeting with districts having low COVID-19 vaccination coverage

New Delhi, November 3, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held a review meeting with top officials of the districts having less than 50% coverage of the first dose and low coverage of the second dose of the COVID vaccine.

The Prime Minister interacted with District Magistrates (DMs) of more than 40 districts in Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and other States.

The DMs gave an account of the issues and challenges regarding vaccination. They highlighted issues like rumours resulting in vaccine hesitancy, difficult terrain and challenges due to prevailing weather conditions in recent months. They also presented an account of the steps taken by them to overcome these challenges.

The DMs also shared good practices adopted by them which has led to an increase in coverage.

During the interaction, Modi discussed the issue of vaccine hesitancy and the local factors behind it in detail. He talked about a wide array of ideas that can be implemented for ensuring 100% vaccination coverage in these districts. He spoke about maximising community engagement through religious and community leaders. He exhorted all officials to ensure that the country widens its vaccination coverage by the end of the year.

The Union Health Secretary gave an overview of the vaccination coverage in the country. He gave an account of balance vaccine dose availability in the states and also talked about the special vaccination campaigns being run in the states to further improve vaccination coverage.

Addressing the gathering, Modi thanked the Chief Ministers present and said their attention will encourage the district to work with more determination. “One special thing in the country's fight against corona was that we found new solutions and tried innovative methods.”

He urged the administrators to work more on new innovative ways to increase vaccination in their districts. He conveyed that even the better performing districts had similar challenges but they were met with determination and innovation. He asked the officials to develop micro strategies, keeping in mind the experience so far to go for saturation of vaccination by addressing the gaps at the local level.

Modi asked the district officials to make different strategies for each village, each town in the districts if need be. This could be done by forming a team of 20-25 people depending on the region. He also called for healthy competition among the teams. Exhorting the officials to prepare region-wise timetables for local goals, the Prime Minister said. “You will have to do your best to take your districts nearer the national average.”

On the issue of rumours and misunderstandings about vaccination, he said the creation of awareness was the only solution and asked the state officials to take the help of the religious leaders.

The Prime Minister said the religious leaders were very enthusiastic about the vaccination campaign referring to his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, a few days ago. He called for a special emphasis on taking the message of religious leaders on vaccines to the public.

He asked the officials to change gears from arrangements made for taking people to the vaccination centres to administering vaccines from door to door. He urged the health workers to reach every house with passion "Har Ghar Tika, Ghar Ghar Tika" - Vaccine at every doorstep. He also asked them to go in with the spirit of "Har Ghar Dastak" knocking on every door to ensure full vaccination.

“Now we are preparing to take the vaccination campaign to each household. With the mantra of ‘Har Ghar Dastak’, knock on every door, every household lacking the security net of a double dose of vaccine will be approached,” he said.

While engaged in the house to house campaign, attention needed to be paid to the second dose as well as the first dose. As the cases of infection start coming down, sometimes the feeling of urgency decreases. “You will have to contact those people who have not taken the second dose despite the stipulated time on a priority basis...ignoring this has created problems for many countries in the world,” he added.

The Prime Minister emphasized that under the Free Vaccine for All campaign, India created a record of administering about 2.5 crore vaccine doses in a day. This feat bears testimony to India’s capabilities, he said. He asked the district officials to learn from the good practices of their colleagues in better-performing districts and emphasized that approaches suitable for the local needs and the environment should be adopted.


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