- 35.7 lakh COVID Vaccine jabs given in Chennai
- 15% population of Chennai has taken both doses of COVID Vaccine
- Tamil Nadu has administered two crore doses of vaccines so far
New Delhi: Now, you can walk into a mall or a vegetable market to get your COVID-19 vaccine in Chennai. The Greater Chennai Corporation has launched vaccination camps at ten malls and 38 vegetable markets across the city, in addition to their regular vaccination centres. The civic body is on an overdrive to inoculate its nearly 60 lakh population in the 18+ age group. With this initiative, they also aim to reach out to salespersons, shopkeepers and shoppers who have not taken their shot yet.
At Phoenix Market City mall in Chennai, there is a vaccination counter, equipped with an observation area, being run by nurses and doctors.
Dr Thendral from the Chennai Municipal Corporation tells NDTV why these vaccination centres are important. She said,
We have to cover our maximum population. We knew a lot of people will be visiting these malls and fruit markets for shopping, and if we are able to convince them to get the vaccine, ultimately we are also ensuring safety for shopkeepers and offering them vaccines as well. We aim to inoculate 100 people in each market and mall, every day, depending upon the allotment of the vaccine.
We are managing the shortage of the supply of vaccines by spreading these to such markets and malls, she added.
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Karthik, a salesperson at a popular store at Palladium wing of Phoenix Market City in Chennai, is happy to have received his first dose.
I could not get my shots as there were long queues everywhere I went. Today in 15 minutes, I got my first shot. It is safe for me and my customers. In fact, many customers asked us if we are vaccinated.
The mall has put up stickers and flexes at all stores that read, “We are vaccinated”. The management at the mall said this was a precondition for the stores to reopen.
Customers were surprised and many welcomed the initiative. Michael, a shopper who has recovered from COVID, said,
It is so good. People are surprised to see a vaccination centre inside a mall. This shows that the place is safe and will build confidence in people to come back with their families.
Vishu Mahajan, Deputy Commissioner for Revenue and Finance at the Corporation, tells NDTV,
We are targeting to vaccinate around 30,000 people through this exercise.
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Chennai has an 18+ population of 59,45,516 people. Out of the 35.9 lakh doses administered so far, 26.7 lakh people or 44.9 per cent have received the first dose and 9.2 lakh people or 15.5 per cent have received both shots.
With demand rising, the city has also been facing a shortage of vaccines. The Corporation has now opened a website through which 50 per cent of doses can be booked in advance and the other half is available for walk-in vaccination at its centres.
Tamil Nadu, which has a population of about 6 crores, has administered two crore doses of vaccines so far, 1.64 crore people have received the first dose and 36 lakh both doses.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.