Three-day intensified vaccination drive across 100 session sites from tomorrow

U.T. has set an ambitious goal of 100% vaccination of the population by August 15

The Health Department will conduct a three-day intensified vaccination drive across 100 session sites in the Union Territory from July 10.

The session sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and people can get vaccinated on producing any of the designated identity cards.

Health Secretary T. Arun said the department had received a stock of about 70,000 vaccines on Thursday which would serve to run the three-day campaign.

With the recent change in policy that has opened up vaccination for pregnant women, a session site would be launched at the Rajiv Gandhi Women and children Hospital from Friday, he said.

Though there had been a 90% drop in cases — from a daily average of 2,000 cases around May-June to 200 or less in recent weeks — the pandemic threat had not gone away, Mr. Arun said.

Vaccinating the entire population was the only means to avert the worst impact of an anticipated third wave.

As of now, an estimated 5 lakh persons have been administered the first dose and over 60,000 were fully vaccinated with the second dose of Covishield. “This works out to a vaccination coverage of between 45 to 50% of the population. So far, no post-vaccination adverse event had been reported,” Mr. Arun said.

He pointed out that a survey among COVID-19 inpatients at the IGMCRI found that an estimated 97% of those who required ICU/ventilator/oxygen support had not taken a single dose of vaccine. “This reaffirmed the protection against COVID-19 from vaccination.”

Girishankar, Deputy Collector (Revenue) said the department expected an enthusing response similar to the second vaccination festival, spread across six days last week, where over a lakh attendees took a vaccine shot.

"In fact, on the last day of the drive, several candidates could not be administered vaccine. The third campaign is targeted at them in addition to the larger thrust to attain full coverage of the population," he said.

Increasing vaccination coverage was all the more imperative against warning of a third wave. If the first wave of the pandemic largely impacted the urban population, the second wave left deep impact on the rural population. “There are chances of exposing the rural population to a third wave of the pandemic if they are not vaccinated,” he said.

The Union Territory has set the ambitious goal of 100% vaccination of the population by August 15.

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