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Low vaccination in hills

IFP Editorial: The responsibility of increasing the COVID-19 vaccination rate in the hill districts should primarily be with the district administration.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 5 Jul 2022, 7:37 pm

(PHOTO: IFP)
(PHOTO: IFP)

Even after five months, vaccination is still very very low in the hill districts of Kangpokpi and Senapati, and vaccination rate is moving at a snail’s pace. For the first dose the overall percentage of vaccination in the state has slightly increased from 58.67 per cent to 61.98 per cent, while for the second dose it has moved from 44.83 per cent to 53.21 per cent as of July 4.

On February 1, the vaccination rate in the districts of Kangpokpi, Ukhrul and Senapati are still lagging far behind the other districts with 20.82 per cent, 27.40 per cent and 33.77 per cent respectively while it is 14.01 per cent, 19.97 per cent and 25.85 per cent respectively for the second dose.

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While Ukhrul district is fast catching up with the other districts at 42.17 per cent and 31.17 per cent for the first and second dose respectively, the rate in Kangpokpi is still at 22.81 per cent and 17.52 per cent. Senapati’s vaccination rate on July 4 stands at 36.12 per cent and 31.30 per cent. Kakching and Imphal West still have the highest vaccination figures.

For the state, the number of doses administered as of Monday was 15,93,637 for the first dose and 12,59,603 for the second dose. In comparison to the valley districts, the other hill districts except for Churachandpur and Chandel are lagging behind in vaccination. With the sudden spurt in Covid 19 positive figures in the state, health authorities need to step up vaccination efforts with an operational strategy in mind.

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We would say, the responsibility of increasing the vaccination rate in the hill districts should primarily be with the district administration. In the past, some DCs have come up with imaginative ideas and strategies in an effort to surge ahead in the vaccination drive and some of those had worked.   

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The Union Health Ministry had asked state authorities to beef up vaccination while expressing extreme concern with the low vaccination in the state particularly in the hill areas. Even the state Governor had joined in the vaccination drive by calling a meeting of Imams and Church leaders to help in convincing people to come forward for Covid-19 vaccination.

The meeting was attended by officials of health departments, 17 Church leaders and eight Imams, the attendees agreed to extend cooperation in making the mission of vaccination successful. In such a scenario, DCs of those districts which are lagging behind in vaccination should examine the prospects of the various strategies used in the other district and see if those could be implemented in their districts. But, first, the DCs need to find out the reasons for lagging behind in vaccination.

ALSO READ: COVID vaccination drive at Chingjaroi village in UKhrul district

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Is it because of lack of confidence in the vaccines or superstition or for lack of resources and accessibility to reach in the interior areas? We know some civil society organisations in the hills have protested against the authority’s pressure for mandatory vaccination for all.

Yes, we understand that vaccination should be purely voluntary but the ramifications of non-vaccination has also to be understood as it involves public health and safety also. And, the concerned DCs must be taken to task. Let us begin by setting targets or outcomes within a timeframe.

- EDITORIAL

 

 

 

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First published:5 Jul 2022, 7:37 pm

Tags:

Covid-19 vaccinecovid vaccinationmanipur covidcovid deaths

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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