Before shaking hands with friends and family this Ganesh Chaturthi, one should query about the person’s vaccination status, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday, underlining the need for creating awareness about completing the Covid vaccination course during the state’s most popular Hindu festival.

Sawant also said that while Goa had completed 100 per cent vaccination of the first dose, inconsistencies in the census data and on-ground realities about population displacement had prevented the state from formally announcing 100 per cent completion of the first dose like Himachal Pradesh.

“Before shaking hands, ask him if he has taken a vaccine or not. That is the need. It is important to ensure that you are secure even before shaking hands with someone. If we ask such a question, we will be able to create an awareness among everyone,” Sawant said at a corporate social responsibility event here.

“The flow of conversation should be like this: “How are you? Have you eaten? And then ask whether the person has taken a vaccine,” Sawant also said, adding that the festival should be used as a medium to increase awareness about the need for vaccination.

“We have been able to complete 100 per cent vaccination of the first dose. Eligible people from the state are around 11.50 lakh. No doubt 40,000 to 50,000 doses have been given to migrants and tourists who live here, but equally there are 40,000 to 50,000 people who are not staying in the state, but they are listed in our population census,” the Chief Minister said.

“We have not declared 100 per cent vaccination, although Himachal Pradesh has done it, because in our census, government data is different,” Sawant further added.

Sawant also expressed worry about the trend where persons who have taken the first Covid dose, neglecting the subsequent booster dose.

“I have seen many people neglect the second dose. 20 per cent have skipped the date for the second dose, but they still are not coming to vaccination centres. This will not do. We request people to take the vaccine,” Sawant said.

–IANS

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