The month-long special drive will be to inoculate those who brought laurels to the state, stated a letter sent to all DCs from the principal secretary of the state health department, Anurag Goel.
“You are aware that we have many distinguished persons residing in our state who have contributed immensely for bringing name and fame to the state in the field of arts/culture/literature/language/sports, etc. Further, many of them may be senior citizens with mobility issues and may be suffering from critical illness or may be having co-morbidities which might prevent them from getting vaccinated for Covid-19,” read the letter.
The government was against door-to-door vaccination initially, mainly citing lack of adequate health set-up to tackle cases of adverse effects of the vaccine. But the health department has relaxed norms to prioritize the vaccination of such personalities. The micro plan has been mulled to conduct special drives at their homes.
Senior health officials in all the districts have been asked to arrange vehicles, ambulances and mobile medical units to carry out the drive. “Such vehicles should have all essential medical equipment and manpower to manage and transport the beneficiary in case of any AEFI,” read the order.
The health department, however, cautioned that in order to avoid vaccination wastage, route maps should be prepared and beneficiaries are to be grouped in multiples of 10 or 20.
“In order to have a visible impact, this exercise is to be completed within the period from 1st June to 30th June, 2021. You may submit a weekly report in this regard to the undersigned and to Director of Health Services (FW), Assam,” read the letter, asking the additional DCs (in-charge) of vaccination to personally monitor the task.
Health experts have observed that those having reinfection after receiving both the jabs are being detected with only mild symptoms and were under home isolation. “Though they are equally capable of spreading infection, health conditions may not deteriorate fast after getting immunized with both doses,” said a health expert involved with analyzing the samples of virus-infected patients in Assam.
Though Assam is facing a severe crisis of Covid-19 vaccine for the 18+ category, the immunization office is hopeful that the special drive will succeed. “A large chunk of eminent personalities is in the 45+ category and there is no dearth of vaccines for them,” immunization spokesperson and director of health services (family welfare), Assam, Munindra Nath Ngatey, said.
As of Monday evening, there were 1.95 lakh vaccine doses in the state for the 45+ category, though the reserve for the 18-44 group has further shrunk to 15,000 doses.