Despite various steps adopted to scale up COVID-19 vaccination in the country, Manipur continued to remain low on vaccination rate at just 65.7 per cent and 43.79 per cent for first and second dose respectively.
The nationwide vaccination campaign has completed nine months. It was launched in January. Already, ndia has achieved a milestone record of 100 crore vaccinations within a span of nine months.
However, the COVID-19 vaccination ratio is concerningly low in Manipur.
Speaking to Imphal Free Press, State Mission Director, National Health Mission, Dr N Shyamjai said that the state has been continuously organising COVID-19 vaccination drive in full swing since the last nine months. Besides this, awareness and advocacy programme has been organised in collaboration with various civil voluntary organisations, NGOs, religious leaders, line departments of governmnent on COVID-19 and advantages of COVID-19 vaccinations, he said.
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Along with this, under "Har Ghar Dastak" campaign launched recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November, door-to-door free vaccination service is being provided. But still the problem of vaccine hesitancy continues to exist in the state particularly in hill areas and among some communities in valley region. This has become a stumbling block to scale up vaccination, which is the best solution to contain the ongoing pandemic, he added.
He further said that at the time of launching of COVID-19 vaccination, the total number of eligible population to get vaccination was 19,37,628 as per data received from all district commissioners of the state. This number rose to 19,68,476, according to the latest electoral roll received from the chief election office. On the other hand, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had revised the population target of vaccination for state to 23,41,000. This changed of target is also another factor to record Manipur as one of the state with less number of COVID-19 vaccination, the State Mission Director, National Health Mission said.
Shyamjai said that based on population ratio of chief election office, Jiribam, Imphal West, Imphal East, Kakching, Bishnupur and Thoubal are the districts where first dose vaccination rate stood above 70 per cent while Senapati, Ukhrul, Kamjong, Tamenglong, Pherzawl, Kangpokpi and Noney record less than 50 per cent.
In case of second dose, Jiribam, Imphal West, Imphal East, Kakching, Churachandpur, Bishnupur are the districts that recorded second dose vaccination above 40 percent while Senapati, Kamjong, Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Kangpokpi and Noney record less than 40 percent, he informed.
While appealing people of the state to vaccinate without fail, he said that people not accepting to inoculate themselves even after knowing its advantages is very unfortunate. Vaccination really helps to reduce chance of COVID-19 infection and save from seriousness if it is infested after vaccination, he said.
Most of people who succumbed to COVID-19 are unvaccinated, he said and encouraged everyone to get vaccinated so that everyone can enjoy this festive season safely.
The state's COVID-19 positive rate has been easing over the last few months and now stands at 1.4 per cent as on November 25. But with the onset of the festive season and forthcoming state elections, social gatherings are increasing where people seem to forget to maintain COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and SOPs.