New Delhi: At a time when the national capital is again witnessing a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases, only around 15% of the eligible adult beneficiaries have received their booster shots. The Delhi government has intensified its drive to reach out to all beneficiaries to administer them the third dose.
The total number of vaccine doses administered in Delhi stands at 3,58,83,327, which includes 1,41,46,147 or more than 95% of the adult beneficiaries who have been fully vaccinated till August 2, 2022, as per government figures. However, the total number of adults with the precautionary dose is 22,33,844, out of the eligible population of 1,48,33,713. Out of those who have received booster shots, 13,33,075, or 59.7%, are those aged 59 years or less, and 9,00,769 are aged 60 years and above, and healthcare and frontline workers.
Apart from measures being taken at the district level, the government has also instructed anganwadi workers, service providers at child care institutions, women’s homes and working women’s hostels to identify and mobilise eligible beneficiaries to receive the precaution dose as part of the ongoing Covid Vaccine Amrit Mahotsav.
The exercise is part of a nationwide initiative that started on July 15 and will continue till September 30 to provide free precaution doses to all eligible beneficiaries at government Covid vaccination centres. All people who are 18 years and above and have completed six months or 26 weeks from the date of administration of the second dose are eligible for this free dose.
“Healthcare workers, frontline workers, and those aged 60 years received the first and second doses first and became eligible for the third dose earlier. On the other hand, those in the 18 to 59 years group became eligible for the third dose much later,” an official said.
“With the gap between the second and third doses reduced from the earlier ninth months to six months, the number of eligible beneficiaries has gone up significantly. However, many people have become too casual about vaccination and we are working hard to ensure they get precautionary doses,” the official said.
“We are trying to create awareness that the effect of the vaccine wears off after a period of time and people need to take the third dose on time,” he said, adding that it has become more important in view of the spike in the number of Covid-19 cases and fatalities. “The precaution dose ensures that even if a person gets infected, the severity of the disease is much less,” he said.