Press Trust of india

Centre asks J&K, northeastern states to focus on second dose vaccination of 60-plus population

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New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday asked eight northeastern states, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir to focus on the second dose vaccination of the 60-plus population, saying the coverage in some of these states was “unsatisfactory”.

The vulnerability of people aged above 60 to COVID-19 makes this exercise of prime importance, the Centre told these states.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a review meeting with representatives from Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and the northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

According to the Health Ministry, the inoculation of both doses among the 60-plus population in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya is unsatisfactory.

In the meeting, the states and union territories were also asked to quickly saturate the first dose coverage among the 18-plus population.

The Health Ministry, in a statement, said that the attention of the states was brought to the fact that the administration of the first dose has progressively outpaced the administration of second dose.

“It was suggested that states earmark doses, earmark days and target the completion of the exercise for these beneficiaries,” the ministry said.

The details of balance stock of 0.5 ml syringes, vaccination coverage among special groups such as transgender persons, persons with disabilities and prisoners and among women, particularly pregnant and lactating women, were also discussed.

The ministry said the states and union territories were advised to closely monitor the stock from state-level stores to cold chain points, check rational distribution and restrict vaccine wastage to below two per cent, and update data on eVIN (electronic vaccine intelligence network) on a daily basis.

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