Tribune News Service
Patiala, June 17
The state government has extended the deadline for its measles-rubella (MR) vaccination drive, as the initiative didn’t achieve expected results in some districts. The six-week statewide campaign, which was scheduled to end by June 15, has been extended by 10 days, officials confirmed.
Kicked off with much fanfare by the government across the state on May 1, the MR vaccination drive has been able to cover 82 per cent of the children.
As per the data gathered from the Health Department, 60 lakh children against the target of 73 lakh were vaccinated till June 15. Sources said rumours and negative publicity regarding the drive had a debilitating impact on it.
Despite the Health Minster releasing repeated statements regarding the vaccine being safe, the department had a tough time convincing parents to get their children vaccinated.
GB Singh, Immunisation Officer, said: “The campaign is going well. We will achieve the target in the coming week.”
Interestingly, a couple of districts have performed exceptionally well and completed the target a week before the deadline. Roopnagar, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, and Pathankot have crossed the 97 per cent mark. According to department figures, of 23 districts, the border district of Ferozepur registered the lowest response. Only 68 per cent children have been vaccinated in the district so far.