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COVID-19 vaccination in Meghalaya and some NE states unsatisfactory

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan noted that the States/UTs need to quickly saturate the first dose coverage among the 18+ population category.

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Shillong: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday that the vaccination process against COVID-19 in Meghalaya and some other north-eastern states was unsatisfactory and called for expedition the process to inoculate those who are eligible.

During a high-level review meeting on Saturday with the North East and Hill States and Union Territories, including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan noted that the States/UTs need to quickly saturate the first dose coverage among the 18+ population category.

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“States must also focus on the 60+ age group as the coverage of both the doses in this category is unsatisfactory in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya. The vulnerability of this age group to COVID-19 makes this exercise of prime importance,” Bhushan said.

“The attention of the states was brought to the fact that the administration of the first dose has progressively outpaced the administration of the second dose. It was suggested that states earmark doses, days and target the completion of the exercise for these beneficiaries,” the official said.

The details of State/UT-wise balance stock of 0.5 ml syringes, vaccination coverage among special groups (transgender persons, persons with disabilities, PWI and prisoners), COVID-19 vaccination coverage among women, particularly pregnant and lactating women was also discussed.

Bhushan also advised the health officials to closely monitor the stock from State Vaccine Stores to Cold Chain Point, check rational distribution and restrict vaccine wastage to below 2 percent, update data on eVIN (electronic vaccine intelligence network) on a daily basis, check supply of other denomination syringes as per availability (0.5 ml/ 1ml/ 2 ml/ 3ml Auto Disable/Re-use Prevention Syringes (RUP)/Disposable) for COVID vaccination.

Meanwhile, with the COVID-19 positivity rate being 9.4 percent for the last one week in the East Khasi Hills, which includes the state capital Shillong, the district magistrate has extended the ongoing night curfew from 8 pm to 5 am on a daily basis.

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