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covid 19: Ministry asks states to ramp up coverage of booster doses

The health ministry is actively exploring ways to increase the booster dose coverage that has only covered 12% of the eligible 77 crore persons across the country.

Ministry sources said while 15 crore people have received the booster doses till now, the ministry is talking to states to look at innovative ways to increase coverage. At least 10 crore people have received the booster dose in the first 46 days of ongoing 75-day special campaign from July 15 to September 30 under the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to provide booster shots of Covid-19 vaccines to all the eligible population at all government centres.

About 92% of people above 18 years of age have received the first dose, and another 83% received the second dose of the vaccine. Ministry sources said top officials were monitoring the Covid-19 situation in the country.

“The cases go up now and then, but the situation is under control as the fatalities are mostly of people with comorbidities. We are urging states to do their best to ramp up the booster dose numbers,” a senior official said.

“The special drive has led to an uptick in the number of doses being administered in several districts, but we want the numbers to go up as Covid-19 cases still continue to rise in many states,” the official added.

Data as on Tuesday showed states such as Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, UP, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana have a better coverage of booster doses than many others such as Haryana, Punjab, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Goa.

Ministry sources have said that the usage of Covishield as a booster dose against the Covid-19 infection has been the highest as compared to other vaccines. The ministry said on Tuesday that the cumulative number of precaution doses administered in the country so far is 156,649,800.

The government had organised special vaccination camps on the routes of Char Dham Yatra (Uttarakhand), Amarnath Yatra (Jammu and Kashmir), Kanwar Yatra (all states/UTs of North India) as well as major melas and gatherings across the country to prevent the Covid-19 infection.

Earlier this month, the Centre approved Biological E’s Corbevax as a precaution dose after completion of six months from the date of administration of the second dose of either Covaxin or Covishield vaccines for the population aged above 18 years.

In an advisory to private FM stations, the ministry of information and broadcasting recently asked all radio FM channels to spread awareness on the booster dose.



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