The Tamil Nadu health department will be conducting a door-to-door campaign on vaccine awareness, aimed at reducing the vaccine hesitancy of several sections of the population, especially in rural areas of the state. Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, while speaking to the media, said that the health workers have been directed to use population data to prepare a list of people who have not taken the vaccine, either the first dose or both the doses.
The health department has directed urban and rural nurses, who deliver medicines to people at their doorstep under the Amakkalai Thedi Maruthavum Scheme, to make a list of people who have not been vaccinated. The department said that in its analysis, it found that as of Tuesday, October 26, 31%of people in the state have not yet taken even a single dose of vaccine, while only 29% have taken both doses.
A study by the department has found that there were discrepancies among districts regarding vaccination â€” for example Chennai, Kancheepuram, Coimbatore, Nilgiris and Tiruppur have nearly 80% vaccine coverage for the first dose, which is above the national average of 79%, but districts like Tiruppatur, Vellore, Myladuthurai and Ranipet have less than 60%of adults who have taken the first dose of the vaccine.
The senior citizens of the state lagged behind in vaccine coverage and until Tuesday, according to the department, only 47% of the 1.04 crore senior citizens have taken their first dose of the vaccine, while 23% have taken both the doses.
The Health Secretary has also directed all District Collectors to identify the specific areas in each district where there is reduced vaccine coverage.
On Tuesday, October 27, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramaniam said that the state will conduct the seventh edition of the mass vaccination programme on October 30. So far, 1.33 crore people have been vaccinated through the six mega drives, the minister said.