Bhubaneswar: With the slight spike in COVID-19 cases in State, the Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) Department has sought help from School and Mass Education (S&ME) Department to speed up the vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 years.
Department of Health & Family Welfare Department (DoHFW) has recently written to Department of School & Mass Education (DoSME)in this regard.
Under the National COVID-19 Vaccination programme, the COVID-19 vaccination of the 15 to 17 years age group started on January 3, 2022 and for the 12 to 14 years age group started on March 16, 2022.
Till June 20, 2022, 21.46 lakh (90.8%) children aged 15 to 17 years have received their 1st dose of vaccination and 16.79 lakh (79.5% against due) have received their 2nd dose of vaccination, DoHFW pointed out .
Similarly, it has been said, 14.25 lakh (93.7%) children aged 12 to 14 years have received their 1st dose of vaccination and 9.00 lakh (67.5% against due) have received their 2nd dose of vaccination.
There is district to district variation in vaccination coverage among above categories of children, said DoHFW.
It is pertinent to mention here that after reopening of the schools & colleges, the children are attending classes physically.
“As you know, COVID-19 vaccination protects individuals against severity of COVID-19 disease and vaccination against COVID-19 is essential for these children. In this context, you are requested to instruct the District Education Officers (DEO) to identify the students in schools & colleges, who are yet to receive their 1st dose of vaccination and who are already due for 2na dose, but not yet vaccinated,”said the letter.
DoHFW further suggested DoSME to ask the DEOs to work closely with the chief district medical and public health officers (CDM & PHOs) of the districts / municipal corporations to prepare micro plan for conducting sessions in schools, colleges for achieving 100 percent coverage.
In another letter to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), the DoHFW has said the first dose coverage among 12 to 14 years age group in BMC is 16,627 (39%) against a target of 42,627 children.
Similarly, the first dose coverage among 15 to 17 years age group is 50.651 (81%) against a target of 62.680 beneficiaries.
Further, the precaution dose coverage of HCWs, FLWs and 60 years & above citizens is 9939 (27%), 16,804 (30%) & 66,164 (45%) respectively.
Therefore, DoHFW has asked BMC to review the COVID-19 vaccination programme and take steps to accelerate the pace of vaccination among different categories of beneficiaries.