Kerala

Local bodies give a leg-up to mass vaccination drive

Local bodies have begun playing a part in supporting the Health Department’s drive to vaccinate the maximum number of people from among the vulnerable population.

The ward-level committees formed after the pandemic outbreak for monitoring purposes have been activated again to launch intensive ground-level campaigns to ensure that no one is reluctant to take vaccination.

Speaking to The Hindu, Saradha Muraleedharan, Additional Chief Secretary, Local Self Government, said the number of people taking vaccination on their own was still less. There was a need to shore up the vaccination numbers, for which mobilising the social capital of the local bodies and neighbourhood groups would be useful.

“The ward-level committees of local bodies and Kudumbashree neighbourhood units are our key resources in this campaign. They will be playing a supporting role in the vaccination efforts. A lot of social messaging will be involved at the local level to reach out to the weak and the vulnerable. For those reluctant to take vaccination, especially due to concerns about adverse events, those coordinating these activities can put them in touch with health workers or doctors to allay their concerns,” said Ms.Muraleedharan.

The ward-level committees, consisting of councillors, health inspectors and local residents, also helped in ensuring that quarantine rules were followed. However, this time, with a relatively new set of councillors in charge after the local body elections in December, the ward-level committees had to be reactivated.

“We never stopped our activities to prevent the spread of the virus. Only some of the systems, including some front-line treatment centres, were wound up temporarily with the fall in numbers. Now, there is no need to newly set up anything, as all of it exist on the ground. Our focus now will be to help the Health Department reach the daily vaccination targets and also the targeted test positivity rates,” said Ms. Muraleedharan.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 7:13:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/local-bodies-give-a-leg-up-to-mass-vaccination-drive/article34291956.ece

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