Nearly 44,000 pregnant, 66,000 lactating women inoculated

We are trying to focus on antenatal women specifically, says top official

July 21, 2021 02:11 am | Updated 02:11 am IST - CHENNAI

COVID-19 vaccination of pregnant and lactating women is in progress throughout the State. So far, nearly 44,000 pregnant women and 66,000 lactating women have been inoculated.

According to data from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, 43,855 pregnant women received their COVID-19 vaccines up to July 18 in the State. Among them, 43,796 were administered their first dose and 59 women, who had received their first dose when they were not pregnant, received their due second dose after becoming pregnant.

A total of 65,929 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered to lactating mothers in the State.

Among the 46 health unit districts, Villupuram had the highest coverage of pregnant women so far at 3,108 followed by Ariyalur with 3,070. The vaccination was slightly slow paced in Chennai, where 867 pregnant women were covered so far. The least coverage was in Chengalpattu and Ramanathapuram where 14 and 49 women were vaccinated respectively.

As far as coverage of lactating women was considered, Coimbatore and Tiruppur vaccinated over 6,000 women each followed by Attur and Salem with a little over 4,000 women each. In Chennai, 2,680 women were vaccinated.

In fact, when compared to a number of districts, the Nilgiris did considerably well in the vaccination coverage of both antenatal women (2,479) and lactating women (3,603).

Good response

T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said the response for COVID-19 vaccination was good among antenatal women and lactating mothers, and hoped that it would improve in the coming days. “We are trying to focus on antenatal women specifically,” he said.

While he stressed on the vital role played by counselling in the vaccination of pregnant and lactating women, he said the government facilitates vaccination, and everyone has a role right from beneficiary, family, treating physician and community in improving vaccination coverage.

A health official said that in rural areas, village health nurses (VHN) liaise closely with pregnant and lactating women as a result of which there was no reluctance to get vaccinated. “VHNs register pregnant women on the Pregnant and Infant Cohort Monitoring and Evaluation system and have a linelist. They follow this list, and mobilise antenatal women for vaccination at primary health centres. They similarly follow-up with lactating mothers,” he said.

“We have the contact numbers of antenatal women in the area of our work. When we contact them for vaccination, most of them are willing to get vaccinated,” said an Accredited Social Health Activist.

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