Other States

Gurugram shows the way in jab drive

At cross purposes: Beneficiaries violating social distancing guidelines at a vaccination centre in Gurugram on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: YOGENDRA KUMAR

Out-of-the-box thinking by local health officials in holding special vaccination camps for different categories of beneficiaries and setting up drive-through vaccine centres, significant social media penetration and the participation of private hospitals have helped Gurugram achieve the feat of administering the highest number of vaccination doses in the State till date.

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, in a press statement earlier this month, had claimed that Gurugram ranked first among 24 major urban cities in the country in vaccination coverage in a Central government survey with 49.3% of its population having received at least one dose of vaccination.

As per the district health department, a total of 10,34,988 doses had been administered in Gurugram, including 8,58,964 first doses, till June 22. The highest number of 4,06,227 doses have been administered in the 18-44 age-group, followed by 2,81,799 in 45-60 age-group. A total of 2,28,533 doses have been administered to those above 60 years of age, including 1,59,978 first doses.

Faridabad stands second in the State in vaccination coverage with around 7 lakh doses, followed by Sonipat and Hisar with approximately four lakh and three lakh doses respectively.

High awareness

Attributing it partially to high degree of awareness among the local population due to social media penetration, District Immunisation Officer Martand Pratap Singh said the local health authorities in a first-of-it-kind initiative conducted camps at group housing societies and industries premises to ensure maximum coverage.

“We sent our health teams to gated communities and industries for vaccination. Ambulances were stationed at these camps to shift beneficiary to a nearby hospital in case of any Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI). It was, perhaps, the first such initiative in India. We got calls from health authorities in Mumbai and Bengaluru to enquire about these camps,” said Dr. Singh, also deputy civil surgeon.

The health department also identified certain categories left out of the vaccination coverage for various reasons, such as transgenders, widows and physically challenged people, and held special camps for them. “We continue to hold camps for autorickshaw drivers, domestic helps and labourers,” said Dr. Singh.

Special camps

Besides, special camps have been held for media persons, advocates, bank employees and judicial staff, among others.

With people scared to go to hospitals for vaccination post-second wave, civil surgeon Virender Yadav suggested setting up of drive-through vaccination centres in the basements of shopping malls and other buildings allowing the beneficiaries to get vaccinated without having to step out of their cars. The drive was not just received well by the masses, but was also lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a virtual meeting with district magistrates last month. “We have conducted more than 20 such drives. On June 21, we vaccinated around 5,500 against the target of 2,500 in such drives,” said Mr. Yadav.

He added that the administration could achieve cent per cent vaccination for its population if vaccines were available.

A large network of private hospitals in the city too have contributed towards the vaccination coverage. As many as 81 private hospitals are empanelled in the city for COVID-19 vaccination and 23 of them are conducting vaccination sessions.

“On an average, around 7,000-8,000 doses are administered in all private hospitals put together. No other city in Haryana has such a large network of private hospitals,” said Dr. Singh.

A few non-government organisation, private companies and residents welfare association have also come forward to contribute towards vaccination by holding special camps.

As many as 1,04,178 doses were administered in a single day in the district during a mega vaccination drive to coincide with International Yoga Day on June 21.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 1:49:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gurugram-shows-the-way-in-jab-drive/article34939627.ece

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