Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, November 3, said that the COVID-19 vaccination drive needed to be taken door-to-door and asked officials of districts where there was low inoculation to adopt innovative ways to boost the vaccination campaign. The PM made the remarks during a meeting, held via video conferencing, with district magistrates of over 40 districts, which have low vaccination coverage.
Pointing out that he had recently met Pope Francis at the Vatican City, PM Modi said that special emphasis was needed to take messages from religious leaders in spreading awareness and encouraging the vaccination drive to the people. He urged the district officials to take the help of local religious leaders to spread awareness about COVID-19 vaccines and fight rumours.
PM Modi stressed that there was a need to adopt innovative ways to increase vaccination in districts with low coverage. "So far, you've been working to take people to vaccination centres, now it's time to reach every house and work with the 'har ghar dastak' campaign," he said.
He further told officials to not only ensure that the first dose is given to unvaccinated people but to also give equal attention to those who need the second dose.
The districts in focus at the meeting were those with less than 50% coverage of the first dose and low coverage of the second dose of vaccine. These 40 districts are spread across Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Meghalaya, among other states, according to the Prime Minister's Office.
Chief Ministers of the states, including Maharashtra's Uddhav Thackeray and Chhattisgarh's Bhupesh Baghel, were present at the meeting.
Prime Minister Modi held the meeting immediately upon his return from attending the G20 and the COP26 meetings.
Meanwhile, the cumulative doses of vaccines administered in the country as of Wednesday, November 3, under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive have exceeded 107.29 crore.
India's COVID-19 tally reached 3,43,08,140 with a single-day rise of 11,903 new infections, while the number of active cases declined to 1,51,209, the lowest in 252 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.