Door-to-door vaccination, similar to the Narendra Modi government’s ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ initiative, played a crucial role in speeding up Himachal Pradesh’s vaccination drive, state health secretary Amitabh Avasthi told News18.com.
Himachal Pradesh, in September, became the first state to vaccinate 100% of its adult population with the first dose of the two-dose Covid-19 vaccine.
While several other states are struggling with slow uptake of the second dose, Himachal Pradesh is likely to vaccinate 100% of its eligible adult population with the second dose too by next week.
“We may be first in the administration of the second dose too. Himachal Pradesh is likely to hit the target of 100% vaccination by December 3,” said Amitabh Avasthi. “The excitement to take the second dose is lesser than the first dose. There is no fear of catching Covid-19, people have started going out and have been busy earning their livelihood,” he added.
The state’s strategy was “not to wait for people to turn up, rather catch them at their convenience”.
“We started a door-to-door campaign at least two months before the central government’s ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ initiative. We started a door-to-door campaign just after reaching 40% of the second dose. Our teams were visiting every village.”
The central government, in November, launched the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign to increase the vaccination coverage. Under the campaign, healthcare workers go door-to-door to vaccinate people eligible for the second dose and also those who have not taken the first dose.
Awasthi said the other strategy that worked for Himachal Pradesh was the involvement of local leaders, Gram Panchayats and Panchayati Raj officials. The state also deployed hundreds of mobile units across districts to vaccinate people on the go. “These mobile units were specifically established in congested areas where there were chances to remind and vaccinate more people, such as bus stands and temples.”
The state is also running a program to call all the beneficiaries as soon as they complete the 84-day interval between the two doses.
The state will be celebrating the success of the vaccination drive on December 5 where Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, BJP national president JP Nadda and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur will be present.