21 districts below state’s average in full Covid vaccination coverage
As many as 21 districts in Maharashtra are lagging behind the full vaccination coverage, much below the state’s average ie. 41%, according to the data released by the public health department
As many as 21 districts in Maharashtra are lagging behind the full vaccination coverage, much below the state’s average ie. 41%, according to the data released by the public health department. District officials have now been asked to strengthen their door-to-door campaigns and encourage people to come forward to take the jabs.
State’s health minister Rajesh Tope has asked all district officials including collectors to step in to resolve any kind of hurdles that may arise during the vaccination drives. In a recent media conference, Tope said that a special focus will be put on districts that have coverage below the state’s average, with the help of counselling carried out by health workers on the field.
Among the districts that are lagging behind include Chandrapur, Palghar, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Jalna, Buldhana, Solapur among others.
District officials spoke to HT and revealed that the vaccination drive slowed during Diwali and since then, the turnout has been on the lower side.
“The seriousness or the fear of the Covid-19 infection seems to have disappeared, making it difficult to convince people to get vaccinated,” said Dr Shitalkumar Jadhav, district health officer of Solapur has among the lowest fully vaccination coverage at 24.34%. “Not just the first dose, people are not showing the urgency to turn up for the second dose too,” he said.
Nearly 100,000 people in Solapur have missed their dates for the second dose as of Friday. Before Diwali, the district administered an average of 35,000 doses every day. The daily average dropped to 10,000 doses during the festival season. “Since the past six days, we have managed to pull up the daily average to 22,000,” said Dr Jadhav, adding that they have started an intensive door-to-door campaign wherein health workers are telling people about the third wave, and the countries in the West that are experiencing a surge.
In Gadchiroli, which has achieved 31.28% full vaccination coverage, health workers are struggling to convince people living in the interiors. “ Etapalli, Bhamragad, Aheri, Sironcha are some of the areas where there is a lot of refusal for the first dose,” said district health officer Dr Sanjay Jathar adding that there is also a delay in data updates from the district due to network problems. The district’s daily average pre-Diwali was 20,000 doses. It fell to 5000 during Diwali and hasn’t improved since then.
Soumitra Ghosh, associate professor at the Centre for Health Policy, Planning and Management at Tata Institute of Social Sciences said that it’s important for districts to pick up the pace and at least reach the state’s average. “The government has to re-look its Information, Education, Communication (IEC) strategies and make them more effective to change the minds of those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated so that they come forward to take the jabs,” said Ghosh.
Maharashtra full vaccination: 40.68%