All those beneficiaries who have not been vaccinated yet should be identified and inoculated against Covid-19 on a priority basis, said Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to state officials on Monday. 

Telling the states to increase the coverage of the vaccination drive under the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ door-to-door campaign, Bhushan further suggested ways that officials may adopt to encourage people for getting the jab. 

“Local heroes/influential figures within districts or villages who are themselves vaccinated can effectively motivate their peer groups. Trusted individuals/community leaders may be identified and appointed as ambassadors,” said Bhushan. 

He said that these ambassadors may also be incentivised by assigning referral codes on CoWIN to them. “Every individual they get vaccinated should be added to their tally at Covid-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) through CoWIN,” he wrote. 

In addition to this, the health secretary said, they may be provided certificates of recognition at gram panchayat or other such special gatherings. 

“Individuals who have received the 1st dose should receive text and voice call messages in local languages/dialect reminding them that they are due to receive the second dose of the vaccine. These messages could be recorded in the voice of local hero’s/ambassador’s voice,” he stated. 

Bhushan said that in addition to the door-to-door drive, workplace vaccination should also be organised for targeting people whose second dose is due. 

“I am sure such innovative ideas or initiatives at the local level may further help in motivating people and mobilising the left out or dropped out beneficiaries,” he said. 

This comes after Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday told states to formulate micro plans for Covid vaccination during a review meeting. 

“We are in the last lap of Covid-19 vaccination. Let us launch an aggressive campaign to ensure full Covid-19 vaccination by increasing the pace of vaccination and expanding the coverage,” stated Mandaviya.

Reiterating that vaccination is the most potent weapon in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the minister urged the states to innovatively rope in all stakeholders, including NGOs and faith-based organisations, to motivate and mobilise all eligible population towards full Covid vaccination.

Vaccination coverage so far 

The total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 117 crore on Monday.

More than 63 lakh (63,98,165) vaccine doses were administered to the beneficiaries till 7 pm on Monday,  said the Union health ministry, adding that the daily vaccination tally is likely to increase with the compilation of the final reports by late night.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on 16 January with the healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of the frontline workers (FLWs) started from 2 February.

The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years of age to be inoculated against the viral disease from 1 May. 

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