Hyderabad: The State government’s well-thought-out, tailored approach, prioritising nearly 17 lakh high-risk individuals across Telangana for quick vaccination against Covid-19, is all set to pay off, with the strategy to help authorities achieve the overall objective of controlling the disease at the population level.
Given the severe shortage of Covid vaccines, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, along with senior officials from multiple departments, had decided to focus on individuals in high-risk groups. The idea was to employ the limited availability of vaccines in a strategic way to derive maximum benefit, that too in a cost-effective way. So instead of opening vaccination on all fronts simultaneously, which would drain human and other resources, the State government had decided to go for strategic vaccination.
Between May 25 and June 13, individuals from high-risk groups who tend to interact with the general population and are prone to get infected and even infect others were vaccinated by taking up a special drive. As many as 16,74,733 individuals under this category were administered vaccines in government Covid vaccine centres and special facilities established by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and other urban local bodies in the State.
As part of the special vaccination drive, in areas under the GHMC alone, about 13,58,738 high-risk individuals, including GHMC workers, LPG cylinder delivery boys and those working in the meat and chicken sector, ‘kirana’ shops, Rythu Bazars, fair price shops, TSRTC, and agriculture were vaccinated.
“There has been a concerted effort to avoid irrational use of vaccines and that’s why we have been focusing on high-risk groups. As part of their daily lives and work, individuals falling in this category tend to interact with many others. Once this group is vaccinated, we should be able to restrict the transmission of the virus,” Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao said.
As part of the strategic utilisation of vaccines, the State government is also set to vaccinate various Self-Help Groups (SHGs) across the State. “Members of SHGs personally interact with many individuals in districts. That’s why our next target will be achieving maximum vaccination coverage among them,” Dr Srinivasa Rao said.
To roll out the special initiative of vaccinating high-risk groups, the experience of the Health Department in micro-planning for polio and other immunisation activities came in handy. The micro plans were specially prioritised to vaccinate vulnerable and high-risk individuals, instead of going for mass immunisation.
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