Special camps will be held in Calcutta and elsewhere in the state later this month to vaccinate children who may have missed any of the vaccine doses administered under the universal immunisation programme.
The camps under Mission Indradhanush, supposed to be held on Monday, have been postponed to February 22, said an official of the state health department. A second round of camps will be held on March 22.
“Usually, children up to two years are registered as beneficiaries of the Mission Indradhanush camps, but we have been told not to refuse a child above two years if she or he is brought to a camp,” said a doctor of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation.
The health department’s vaccinators are now busy administering Covid-19 jabs to health workers and frontline workers across the state.
“We have to plan and execute both vaccinations with the existing human resources. It is a challenge for the vaccinators and other health workers,” said a health department official.
Over 3.2 lakh people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Bengal, said a senior health department official.
Mission Indradhanush camps, usually held every year to vaccinate children who may have missed any dose of vaccine under the immunisation programme, could not be held in 2020 because of the pandemic, CMC doctors said.
“Some of the children might not have received any of the scheduled vaccine doses last year. We have to find those children and get them vaccinated,” the official said.
“The parents or anyone else who will accompany the child to the camp must carry the vaccination card, which will be proof that the child missed a dose of a vaccine under the universal immunisation programme. We cannot rely on someone’s spoken word,” the official said.
One can know the location of the camps from the CMC’s ward health clinics, also called urban primary health centres, and from the borough executive health officer’s office.
Teams from the state health department as well as the various municipalities and municipal corporations are visiting houses to find out the children who might have missed their vaccine doses.
“The postponement of the camps (from February 8 to 22) will give us some more time to do micro-planning and, if necessary, another round of survey,” said a health department official.