Over 22 lakh get Covid jabs at special camps in TN
Giving small gifts, reaching out to beneficiaries by phone calls, sending text messages and issuing tokens have proved effective in wooing people to get their Covid vaccines during the special vaccination camps held every Sunday since September 12 in Tamil Nadu .
With 22.52 lakh doses of Covid vaccines administered in the special camp held today, the State government had vaccinated over 1 crore people just in the special camps held in the last five Sundays. So far, a total of nearly 5 crore (only at government centres) doses, including in the special camps, have been administered in the State.
During the special camps the State government managed to reach out to a large section of unvaccinated people, including those who were hesitant to take the jabs by convincing them on the need to get vaccinated, said a State government official.
While not more than 2 lakh people get vaccinated on weekdays in the last few days, how was the State government able to vaccinate such a large number during the special camps? It is through collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, said TS Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, who has been at the forefront of dealing with the State’s response to Covid pandemic and spearheading the vaccination drivein the State.
“We had around 25 lakhs beneficiaries who were due for second dose and we contacted them over phone and through SMS, tokens and also direct mobilisation through our field functionaries in addition to our health care workers. Small gifts (like fruit basket) were also offered by local bodies. We involved officials from all the departments including social, education, revenue and police. It is the combined efforts of all,” he told BusinessLine.
Most of the beneficiaries come on their own. It is like a festival on Sundays wherein vaccination camps are conducted closer to their homes and they come to the camps along with neighbours. “However, we cannot make it mandatory, but we can only suggest the importance of vaccination. For example, I released a video on necessity for Covid vaccination wherein the point that 87 per cent of the people dying of Covid are unvaccinated people,” he said.
Over 65 per cent of the State’s eligible population have been given atleast one dose of vaccination, he said.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu on Sunday saw coronavirus cases decline to 1,329 from 1,344 on Saturday to take the total number of cases in the State to 26,78,265.
After 1,436 persons were discharged, the total number of active cases stood at 16,130. The number of deaths registered was 15 and 1,40,091 samples were tested. Chennai reported 171 (167) new cases while Coimbatore added 132 (137) cases.