Alipurduar (West Bengal) [India], June 21 (ANI): Alipurduar District Magistrate (DM) Surendra Kumar Meena along with health officials trekked more than 10-km through forests and hilly areas to reach a remote village, Adma and conducted a vaccination drive for people above 45 years of age on Sunday.
Speaking to ANI, Meena said, "This programme has been conducted under the State Government's 'Duare Tikakaran Abhiyan'. The Adma village in the Alipurduar district is one of the most remote areas of the state. Other vaccination centres and sub-centres are very far from there."
"We reached this location after trekking for a distance of 10-12 kms above the plains and we reached after crossing the tough terrain. The programme is specifically for the age group of 45 years and above so that they do not need to travel far for vaccination. Therefore, a team of district officials, health officials came here to conduct vaccination drives. People are really happy because they did not have to travel far to get vaccinated," said the DM.
The team also distributed masks, sanitisers and other essentials for maintaining hygiene.
"We also had an interaction with the people over the kind of development that shall take place in the area. We took people's opinions on any demands they have regarding development, infrastructure, health etc which we need to work upon," the District Magistrate said.
"Around 50 people have been vaccinated as part of this drive. We have a target of vaccinating 100 people. We are also providing vaccination certificates to beneficiaries," he added.
A beneficiary said, "It feels really good that the DM himself came to ensure that we are vaccinated. We were worried about our vaccination since it is a remote location, but we are really thankful to the district administration for putting in efforts for the people and visiting the area and conducting the vaccination drive. They also distributed masks and sanitisers, interacted with us, asked about our problems and told us about various development prospects."
Meanwhile, the centralised free vaccination policy began on Monday under which the government will provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all Indian citizens above 18 years of age.
Under the policy, the Centre would procure 75 per cent of vaccines and give them to states for free distribution to all citizens above the age of 18. It will also handle the 25 per cent vaccination that was with states till now under the liberalised plan announced earlier.
As per the union health ministry, as many as 27,66,93,572 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the country so far, including 38,10,554 on Sunday.
As many as 5,42,21,110 citizens in the 18-44 age group and 14,42,38,142 0ver the age of 45 have received their first dose.
70,65,889 healthcare workers, 90,32,813 frontline workers, 12,27,088 between the age of 18-44, and 3,36,80,696 over the aged 45 and above are fully vaccinated.
As per a statement on Sunday, more than 29.10 crore (29,10,54,050) vaccine doses have been provided to States and union territories so far by the Centre through the Government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement.
More than 3.06 crore (3,06,34,638) COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered, the statement said. (ANI)