Centre flags low Covid vaccination coverage in Tamil Nadu, 10 other states
The states where the vaccination coverage against coronavirus is low include some of the most populous ones including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab and Odisha.
NEW DELHI: Nearly 61% of the adult population in India is now fully vaccinated against Covid but the top government authorities on Friday flagged the comparatively low vaccination coverage in 11 states, calling it a cause of “major concern.”
The states where the vaccination coverage against coronavirus is low in some of the most populous ones such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab and Odisha.
Nationally, 88% of the 18-plus population in India has now received at least one dose of vaccine but this percentage is lower than the national average in 11 states that also includes Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Puducherry and Jharkhand.
The coverage of the full vaccination, on the other hand, at 39% is the lowest in Nagaland, followed by Punjab (40%), Manipur and Jharkhand (42%) and Meghalaya (44%).
Overall, nearly 141 crore doses of Covid vaccines have been administered in India which include 83.58 crore first doses and 58.38 crore second doses.
Senior health administrators, in a press briefing on Covid status and response in India on Friday, also said that in 19 states and UTs, the coverage of the first dose is 90 % or more.
In the wake of an impending Covid wave, fuelled by Omicron, the Centre has been urging states to ramp up vaccinations on a war footing.
In a review meeting with states on health system preparedness on Thursday, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan had asked states to ensure 100% coverage of left out first and second dose eligible beneficiaries in an accelerated manner, while also giving special focus to be given to those districts where the first & second dose coverage is less than the national average.
States were also instructed to strengthen door-to-door vaccination campaigns especially in states where vaccination coverage is below the national average. Importantly, there was a specific message for states going in for elections in the near future: to exponentially ramp up vaccination, especially in the low coverage districts to protect the vulnerable population.
Pockets with low vaccination coverage and those with low Covid exposure may be more vulnerable to the new Omicron variant, the ministry has said, asking states to accord special attention to ramp up vaccination in these pockets.