New Delhi [India], April 7 (ANI): The Health Ministry has written to Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi governments about the COVID-19 vaccinations done by them and urged them to take "necessary corrective actions immediately for improving the performance of vaccination drive".
Sources said the letters have been written by Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Union Health Ministry to Principal Secretaries of Health & Family Welfare of Punjab, Delhi and Maharashtra.
They said the letters referred to the performance of COVID-19 vaccination drive as per the CoWin portal till 7 pm on Wednesday.
They said that letter to the Maharashtra government said that 85.95 per cent (national average 85.8 per cent) of registered HCWs (healthcare workers) have been vaccinated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The ministry said that second dose coverage of registered HCWs is 41.08 per cent (national average 51.49 per cent. "This is below the national average and needs improvement," it said.
Referring to frontline workers (FLWs), the ministry said that the first dose coverage is 71.37 per cent (national average 71.1 per cent) and second dose 22.39 per cent (national average 29.97 per cent). For 45 tears and above 16.67 per cent (national average 16.71 per cent).
Sources said in the case of Punjab, the ministry stated that a detailed analysis of the performance of the COVID-19 vaccination drive reveals that 63.95 per cent (national average 85.8 per cent) of registered HCWs have been vaccinated with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The ministry said that this was below the national average and needs improvement.
It said the second dose coverage amongst registered HCWs is only 27.36 per cent (national average 51.49 per cent) and this is also below the national average and needs improvement.
Referring to FLWs, the ministry said the first dose coverage is 64.68 per cent (national average 71.1 per cent) and the second dose is only 19.57 per cent (national average 29.97 per cent).
It said the coverage amongst the population aged 45 years and above stands was a mere 11.08 per cent while the national average was 16.71 per cent.
Sources said the letter to Delhi Principal Secretary said that 71.69 per cent (national average 85.8 per cent) of registered HCWs have been vaccinated with first dose.
It said this is below the national average and needs improvement.
The ministry said the second dose coverage is 41.48 per cent (national average 51.49 per cent) and this is also below the national average and needs improvement.
The letter said a similar analysis for registered FLWs indicated that the first dose coverage was 73.24 per cent (national average 71.1 per cent) and 2nd dose coverage 40.98 (national average 29.97 per cent). Coverage for 45 years and above 18.66 per cent (national average 16.71 per cent).
Sources said the letters mentioned that there is a need for stepped efforts by the state/UT administration to improve the level of coverage of the first as well as the second dose among the HCWs and FLWs, as the primary objective of the vaccination is to protect the healthcare and pandemic response system, especially in the states having a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The letter said HCWs and FLEs represent a well-defined beneficiary group and therefore must be covered expeditiously, the letter said.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had on Wednesday accused the Maharashtra government of "misgovernance" in tackling COVID-19, saying that it has followed an "utterly casual approach" and is putting the residents in danger "by letting people escape institutional quarantine mandate for the sake of their personal vasuli".
He said in a statement that vaccination has to be prioritised so long as the supply of vaccines remains limited.
The minister said the "lackadaisical attitude of the state government has singularly bogged down the entire country's efforts to fight the virus" and the lack of efforts of the part of the state government "is now clearly visible and come to haunt us all".
He accused the MVA government in Maharashtra of focusing its energies on "playing politics and spreading lies to create panic".
He also said there had been regular comments by leaders from Chhattisgarh that are intended to spread misinformation and panic on vaccination. The minister said by their actions, the leaders of Congress government in Chhattisgarh "have the dubious distinction of being perhaps the only government in the world to have incited vaccine hesitancy".
"I would like to humbly state that it would be better if the state government focuses its energies on ramping up their health infrastructure rather than on petty politicking," he said.
The minister said that in Punjab, the high case fatality rate needs to be improved by early identification of those needing hospitalization. (ANI)