Centre to begin Har Ghar Dastak 2.0 to accelerate Covid vax drive

Underlining the urgent need for an intensive push to Covid vaccination across the country to accelerate the recent placid momentum, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Friday advised all states and union territories to plan for a two-month long ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign 2.0, during June-July with detailed district, block and village levels plans, officials said.

The objective of the ‘Har Ghar Dastak 2.0’ Abhiyan is to vaccinate and saturate the eligible population groups for first, second and precaution doses through door-to-door campaigns, with focussed campaigns for old age homes, schools and colleges including the out of school children, prisons, brick kilns, etc.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has flagged the concerns regarding the considerably slow pace of vaccination across states and UTs, and has urged them to significantly expedite the pace towards full vaccination coverage by saturating all eligible beneficiaries.

This was communicated to all states and UTs by Union Health Secretary as he reviewed the status of Covid vaccination with Health Secretaries and Mission Directors of states and UTs, through a video conference on Friday.

The sub-optimal coverage of persons aged below 60 years with precaution dose which renders them vulnerable, along with considerably slower speed of coverage in the 12-14 years cohort was pointed out in the meeting.

States and UTs were urged to undertake effective monitoring with micro-plans based on due-lists of all eligible beneficiaries.

Union Health Secretary also stressed on a clear and effective communication strategy for increasing the pace of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination, noting that customised regional communication best practices have yielded appreciable results in vaccination coverage.

Underscoring that Covid vaccine is a precious national resource, the states were strongly advised to ensure that there is no wastage of vaccines at any cost.

This must be ensured through active monitoring and on basis of ‘First Expiry First Out’ principle, where doses that expire earlier should be used for vaccination first, advises Bhushan.

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