GOA’S UNSTOPPABLE VACCINATION DRIVE
The launch of phase 3 of TIKA UTSAV, came with an unrelenting support from the people, who have recognized the hard work being done by the Dr. Pramod Sawant led Government in this fight against Covid. Started Sunday the 13th of June for all persons above 18 without any restrictions, TIKA UTSAV phase 3 saw an overwhelming response with vaccine centers seeing an unprecedented amount of people walking in for the vaccination. The very first day saw a record 18,662 jabs, which was the highest single-day vaccination observed. This encouraging response reflects all over the state of Goa and the Government is determined to take all the steps to ease access to vaccination and reach every single individual.
From the launch of TIKA UTSAV on 11th April 2021 in Goa, up till this moment, the Government’s adaptability has allowed them to learn and adjust to find the best methods to reach their people and get them to attend this mass vaccination drive. Many problems have risen and have been tackled with the best fit course of action to ensure the continual smooth running of this drive.
Earlier vaccination required an online pre-registration to book a slot for vaccination where at max 110 slots would be available each day. This however came with a lot of issues. People had to travel great distances to reach their allotted vaccination center, this directly affected the overall turnout of people. Also people facing connectivity issues could not get a slot.
TIKA UTSAV 1 and 2 required no prior online registration and focused on 45+ age group only. During this period 2,62,622 people have been exclusively given the first dose and 72,982 have been fully vaccinated.
At all moments, vulnerable groups most likely to be affected by the covid wave, were given the preference to vaccinate inorder to ensure their safety. From people with comorbid conditions to lactating mothers and parents of kids upto age 10. A thorough care was taken in keeping up with the trend of the waves and the ones most affected.
In order to boost up the turnout for TIKA UTSAV 3.0, the Government recognized the issues affecting it and made the needed changes. Prior online registration, which was facing troubles due to network, technical issues or simply non availability of preferred centers, was changed and a walk-in ‘on spot’ registration was implemented making vaccination available to all. This allowed the people without the reach to technology to also be a part of this drive and have a chance to get vaccinated. Today’s figures are observed over 15,000 vaccinations per day.
Total number of vaccination centers have also been increased to reduce load on existing ones. Bringing TIKA UTSAV to the grassroot levels of panchayats, allowed the reach to the remotest villages. People did not have to travel distances to reach their allotted vaccine centers. One could simply reach their nearest center and register on spot for immediate vaccination. This step also contributed majorly to the great response received by TIKA UTSAV 3. Local MLAs have been found standing up to hold the TIKA UTSAV in their respective constituencies to further spread the drive. As of today, North Goa has a total of 109 panchayat vaccination centers, and a total of 88 centers in South Goa on scheduled running, apart from the 18 permanent centers in the North and 22 in the South.
Judicious use of the vaccines is also highly important to ensure little to no wastage. Goa’s efficient utilisation of vaccines has earned our state praise from the Centre, as it has administered more doses than those allotted to it by making use of leftover doses in vials. The Union ministry of health and family welfare rated Goa the highest, above even Kerala, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh. Instead of ten doses per vial, Goa’s vaccination centres have been using leftover doses in vaccine vials to vaccinate a total of 11 people per vial.
Meanwhile, no stones were unturned in broadcasting and spreading awareness with regards to this mass vaccination among the people. The Government has been seen constantly spreading the message through every medium available to them, social media, banners, newspapers etc. to get crowds to vaccinate themselves.
As of 17th JUNE 2021, 5,91,612 people have received the vaccine, out of which 4,91,398 have exclusively received the 1st dose and 1,00,214 have been fully vaccinated. A total of 6,91,826 doses gave been administered.
Having made all medical facilities and infrastructure available for a successful vaccination drive, the Government now faces the issue of vaccine hesitancy. Frontline vaccination doctors say that ‘all facilities and staff are available to ensure the rate of vaccination keeps up, it is now the duty of the people to come forth and get themselves vaccinated at the earliest possible.’ Doctors have asked the local representatives to mobilize the beneficiaries to prevent the number of people coming forth for vaccination from decreasing. People with pending second doses should also remember to get their 2nd jab after the 84-day gap period without fail.
The Goa Government has made every facility available to continue to push for a total vaccination at the earliest possible and it is in the hands of the citizen now to act responsibly and vaccinate at the earliest