Chandigarh to extend vaccination drive to vulnerable population, school staff

Chandigarh to extend vaccination drive to vulnerable population, school staff

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While Chandigarh has so far vaccinated 3,25,264 people, the drive will be extended to the vulnerable population of the city.

While the drive since January has been extended to various age groups, the most vulnerable populations, migrant labour, construction workers, the homeless, beggars…people without phones, identity cards or any permanent address, have so far been left out in the drive.

Now, a new live featurefacility on the Cowin portal allows a government doctor or facilitator to register any group of people who don’t have any IDs, registered phone numbers to be vaccinated, and also given a certificate of the vaccine.

“This utility wasn’t available on the portal earlier and we could not target these groups, as there was no provision of giving a certificate without registration and also these vaccines, we can now focus on this category of people, for the aim is to cover everyone, as soon as possible. We have started organising camps for the physically and mentally challenged and today, we vaccinated 590 people in the 18- 44 category and 110 in the 45+ category in the Burail Jail,” explained Dr Amandeep Kang, DHS, Chandigarh.

While numerous studies have shown that vaccination reduces viral replication in individuals and decreases transmission in the communities, decreasing the overall viral load in the community, the only way to stop virus circulation and replication is by increasing vaccination.

Doctors have emphasised that we need to achieve immunity through vaccination, and with even one dose, we are less liable to have serious disease.

The staff of schools, teachers, office people, safi karamcharis, bus conductors, drivers, is a group, says Dr. Kang that will also receive vaccination on a priority basis, so that everyone is vaccinated before schools open. “The Department of Health will be working closely with the Social Welfare Department to have a permanent site for the vaccination of the physically disabled, which can be operational all week, or according to demand, and also spread the drive to these segments.”

In the 18 to 44 categories, taking the electoral rolls as the denominator, the UT has about 3.75 lakh people and in the 45 plus, around 4 lakh people, with some already having taken the vaccine in Punjab and Haryana in both the categories. Dr. Kang says by July end, they would have achieved a high percentage in the 18 plus category, with 35 per cent already having covered in the 45 plus category, with 104027 given the first dose.

With vaccine shortage a reality, with bookings for the 18-44 category (24776 vaccinated so far with first dose) stopped in the UT after June 4, as there are only about 9,000 doses left for this category, Dr Kang says that the Department has already sent an order for the purchase of Covishield to the Serum Institute and the new batch is expected soon. “We are now using our allocated lot, and not saving what we have to increase the vaccination numbers, and when the stock is depleting, we ask for more,” explains Dr. Kang, adding that private facilities will get around 24,000 doses of Covishield in the first week of June, as well as Sputnik around the same time.

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