New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday emphasised the importance of door-to-door Covid vaccination — a drive given the name ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ or ‘Knock at every door’ — as he spoke to representatives of districts with low vaccine coverage.
At the online review meeting, PM Modi also advised states to create micro strategies, rather than looking at targets at the state and district levels.
The meeting was attended by district magistrates of over 40 districts from Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Meghalaya, among others, along with the respective chief ministers.
“We now need to take the vaccination effort to every household,” Modi said. “Remember, that districts that managed to achieve 100 per cent coverage of the first dose of vaccines also face various types of challenges. However, these districts have overcome those challenges,” Modi said.
“We already have months of experience on related challenges linked to vaccinations, and our ASHA workers have also learnt how to work around these challenges,” he added.
Moving forward, he said, individual villages, mohallas, and even households that have not been vaccinated need to be reached out to.
If needed, different strategies need to be formulated for different villages by forming small teams of 15 to 20 people, he added.
“We can encourage a spirit of competition within these teams,” he said, adding that youth from the NCC (National Cadet Corps) and the NSS (National Service Scheme) can also be engaged for these campaigns.
Modi put special emphasis on women officials, noting that they are bringing better results across the country.
To counter misinformation around vaccination, officials can take the help of local religious leaders, who can then spread the word further within their communities.
The prime minister also talked about stepping up the vaccination campaign among tribal and adivasi communities in the run-up to Birsa Munda Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the tribal freedom fighter, on 15 November. He said linking such “emotional” sentiments to vaccination can help get more people involved in the vaccination drive.
Modi further recommended that the lagging districts learn from the better performing ones on how to overcome some of the challenges. During the campaign, he said, officials must ensure that both doses of the vaccine are taken by each household, and that people don’t become complacent about taking the second dose when the overall Covid case numbers go down.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)