Exclusive: Assam Plans Aggressive Vaccination Drive From Monday, To Inoculate Half Its Population By July-End

Exclusive: Assam Plans Aggressive Vaccination Drive From Monday, To Inoculate Half Its Population By July-EndAssam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. (Twitter)

Assam will deploy all its manpower and resources to vaccinate at least three lakh people every day over the next ten days and then increase the pace to cover half its estimated population of 3.65 crores by the end of next month.

Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced this ‘enhanced vaccination drive’ Saturday. A total of two thousand vaccination centres will function across the state from Monday (June 21).

Sarma said that people can just walk into the vaccination centers and get their jabs. A dedicated health worker will be present at each center for on-the-spot registrations on the CoWin platform.

‘Guardian Ministers’--all ministers have been assigned to oversee affairs of a cluster of two to three districts--and senior officers have been asked to station themselves in the districts to ensure the success of this vaccination drive.

The chief minister said that if necessary, all other government work except emergency services will be suspended to redeploy all assets for conducting the vaccination drive.

Assam has already vaccinated about 50 lakh people and of them, 10 lakh have received their second dose.

The chief minister said that the Union Government has assured the state of continuous supply of vaccines from Monday and claimed that there will be no shortage of vaccines.

“We have finalised all plans and every village and tea garden, besides urban areas, will have vaccination centres. The enhanced vaccination drive from Monday will be a pilot project and if we can fulfil our target of vaccinating three lakh people every day for the next ten days till June 30, the Centre will increase the supply of vaccines from next month,” the chief minister told Swarajya.

He said that the supply of vaccines is demand-driven and Assam is confident of meeting its target. “If we can vaccinate 30 lakh people over the next ten days, then we will increase the number of vaccination centres from next month so that more people can get vaccinated. And by end-July, we can then inoculate at least half the population of Assam,” said Sarma.

Every vaccination centre has been given a target of getting 200 people vaccinated per day. Thus, the state target is to vaccinate four lakh people every day.

“Taking into account emergencies and other difficulties, including the floods in some parts of the state, a realistic target of vaccinating 30 lakh people over the next ten days has been set,” said a senior health department officer.

Vaccination centres in urban areas will function from 8 am to 8 pm while those in the rural areas will remain open from 8 am to 1 pm. Health workers posted at these centres will get an additional allowance of Rs 100 per day.

Also, anyone above 18 can get vaccinated and there will be no categories of people for vaccination.

The chief minister has hinted that government offices and private establishments may be allowed to remain open during daytime from next month if the vaccination pilot project over the next ten days is a success.

That is why, said the chief minister, it is important for all government employees and people working in private establishments to get themselves vaccinated.

Heads of government and private offices and establishments have been asked to reach out to their employees and juniors and encourage them to take the jabs.

The chief minister chaired a virtual conference of heads of all departments as well as top civil and police officials of all districts on Saturday to take stock of the arrangements for the enhanced vaccination drive.,

If Assam is able to meet its targets and step up the vaccination drive next month, it will be the first major state in the country to inoculate 50% of its population by end-July.

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