India — Bihar created a record of sorts when it inoculated 1,73,137 people – the highest in a single day in the state – on Monday. The day was celebrated as International Women’s Day.
“Women accounted for 1,00,209 of the 1,47,461 beneficiaries vaccinated in the state for the first dose on Monday,” said Manoj Kumar, executive director, State Health Society, Bihar vaccinations.
The state had mobilised “Jeevika didis” and targeted to inoculate over 1 lakh women on Monday.
Bihar had decided to rope in local representatives of panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) as mobilisers and open vaccination centres up to the level of health sub-centres to encourage senior citizens and those with co-morbidities in the 45-59 years’ age bracket to get their jab against Covid-19.
“We expect the cohort model to work better in Bihar. We will involve local PRI representatives, along with anganwadi sevikas, accredited social health activist (ASHA) and healthcare workers (HCWs), to boost the elderly people to get them to our health sub-centres for inoculation,” said Pratyaya Amrit, principal secretary, health, after felicitating 21 women healthcare workers at the department on Monday.
Health minister Mangal Pandey sang paeans to the role of women HCWs in controlling the spread of the contagion.
Bihar has over 10,000 health sub-centres against a target of over 16,600.
Amrit accepted that people preferred walk-in on-spot vaccination over pre-registration for vaccination on the portal.
The state had so far inoculated around 1.70 per cent of the 1.25 crore target group in the first week of the third phase of the vaccination, which began on March 1, after the inoculation of the HCWs and frontline workers (FLWs).
Nearly 1.55 per cent or 1.69 lakh of the 1.09 crore senior citizens (60 years and above) and 29,867 (1.86 per cent) of the 16 lakh people with any of the 20 specified co-morbidities in the 45-59 years of age group, had taken the first jab till Monday.
“People, especially those in villages, are reluctant to take the vaccine, as they feel the virus is confined to the urban populace and is non-existent in rural areas. They ask our vaccination mobilisers why they need to take the vaccine shot when the virulence of the disease has ebbed to being almost non-existent in rural areas,” said Amrit.
Vaccine hesitancy, he said, was more among senior citizens.
“The elderly are apprehensive of adverse reaction post-immunisation though only 91 minor adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) have been reported so far out of the 8.33 lakh people vaccinated in the state so far. The elders feel they are better off without the vaccine shot, and should not take unnecessary risk,” added Amrit.
The virus, which had last year spread to all 38 districts of the state, is now confined to 13 districts, with state capital Patna reporting almost 50 per cent of the state’s new Covid-19 cases.
Patna accounted for 13 of the 30 new cases on March 6. Begusarai reported 3, East Champaran, Madhepura and Madhubani two each while Aurangabad, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, Khagaria, Munger, Muzaffarpur, Siwan and Vaishali reported one case each.
With a case recovery rate of 99.29 per cent – among the highest in India – and a mortality rate of 0.58 per cent, which was among the lowest in the country, the fear of Covid-19 among villagers is over. It was this fact, which was now weighing heavy against the vaccination in the state.Follow us on Social Media
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