The door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination campaign 'Har Ghar Dastak' has been extended till December 31 with a focus on 100 percent first dose coverage and completing the backlog of second dose vaccination, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level virtual meeting with states and Union Territories to review COVID-19 public health response measures and preparedness amid cases of potentially more contagious Omicron variant of COVID19 being reported across various countries.
Noting the critical role of vaccination as a powerful defence against COVID-19, the 'Har Ghar Dastak' vaccination campaign has been extended till 31st December with a focus on 100 per cent first dose coverage, and completing the backlog of second dose vaccination, the Ministry said in a statement after the meeting.
To ensure that all eligible people are vaccinated at the earliest, the 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 3 and this was to continue till November 30.
States have been advised to ramp up the pace and coverage of COVID-19 vaccination.
There is a continued need for further vaccination coverage, adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour and the need to avoid mass gatherings, DG, ICMR Dr Balram Bharagava said
Underlining the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 doesn't escape-PCR and RAT tests, the Centre advised states and UTs to ramp up testing for early identification of any cases, undertake effective surveillance of international passengers and strictly monitor hotspots.
NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr Vinod Paul stated that the country is richer in its knowledge of the management of COVID-19, the statement said.
He also underlined the continued importance of COVID-appropriate behaviour, avoiding large gatherings and ramping up vaccination.
The Centre had on Monday suggested that states and union territories can organise workplace COVID-19 vaccination, targeting people due for their doses, and also provide badges to employees carrying messages to encourage their non-vaccinated colleagues to get inoculated.
Besides these, the Union Health Ministry, as part of its strategy to nudge those who are to be vaccinated, also advised involving vaccinated influential figures and community leaders in districts or villages to motivate people to get anti-COVID shots.
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