New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS): The Centre on Saturday asked the states and UTs to speed up the Covid vaccination programme, with a focus on the second dose, across the nation.
The decision comes against the backdrop of the country achieving the milestone of administering 100 crore vaccine doses on October 21.
Highlighting the sizeable number of eligible beneficiaries who have not received their second dose, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan urged the states and UTs to focus on those beneficiaries who are waiting for this after their interval period between the two jabs got over.
Chairing a review meeting with state/UT Health Secretaries and Mission Directors of the National Health Mission, he asked the states and UTs to improve the momentum and accelerate the coverage as the country moves forward to vaccinate all the eligible population by the year-end under the mass vaccination drive.
So far, 71.24 crore first vaccine doses covering 76 per cent of the eligible population and 30.06 crore second doses covering 32 per cent of the eligible population has been administered.
The Health Secretary noted that the detailed line-lists of due beneficiaries can be utilised for preparing a district-wise 2nd dose administration plan involving the District Magistrate for execution in a time-bound manner.
He suggested the progress of such district-wise plan be reviewed daily to ensure saturation of all eligible beneficiaries.
The states were also advised to identify and prioritise districts having low coverage for focused action and explore requirement for mobilisation efforts, addressing local challenges, need for additional vaccination centres, and improving access in rural areas. They were also requested to share their strategies to enhance second dose coverage.