PESHAWAR: The health department has proposed cash prizes for the ‘best performers’ in the Covid-19 vaccination campaigns to boost up immunisation in 20 districts, where the percentage of eligible people getting vaccine shots is below 50.
A report of the department revealed that 11.45 million people had so far been vaccinated against the virus by Nov 30.
According to it, 46.32 per cent of the total targeted 24.71m people aged between 12 years and above 70 years have received vaccine jabs.
Upper Chitral district has 73.28pc eligible people fully vaccinated against coronavirus, Lower Chitral 60.83pc, Haripur 53.62pc and Kurram 50.95pc, while the percentage in the other 24 districts is below the targeted 50.
A total of 17.79pc vaccination coverage was reported in Upper Kohistan, 12.39pc in South Waziristan and 11.67pc in Kolai-Palas.
Meanwhile, health secretary Mohammad Tahir Orakzai told media men that a summary had been sent to the chief minister to give away cash prizes to the best performers in the Covid-19 vaccination drive to motivate others and thus, increasing the vaccination rates.
He said the workers got low salaries but worked wholeheartedly for the success of the vaccination campaign and therefore, cash prizes had been proposed to motivate them and others to increase vaccination coverage.
“We [health department] have proposed the payment of Rs3,000 per week to the ‘best vaccinators’ selected after a performance review,” he said.
The secretary said the Covid-19 vaccination had slowed down due to the involvement of the health workers in the recently-concluded measles and rubella vaccination campaign.
“Now once the measles and rubella drive is over, we have planned to give Covid-19 vaccine shots to 200,000 people in the province every day,” he said.
Mr Orakzai said the government schools had been very cooperative for the vaccination of their students and employees.
He said around 50 per cent of the targeted people were schoolchildren and the vaccination problems were reported in private schools.
“Covid-19 immunisation is mandatory and all eligible people have to receive jabs,” he said.
The secretary said the department’s officials had met the top officials of the Private Schools Regulatory Authority as part of efforts to vaccinate more and more children in private educational institutions.
He said the province had enough vaccine stock and was spending huge sums of money on storage and related facilities.
“We need to protect the lives of people from Covid-19, which has killed 5,851 people and infected 180,146 people in the province. We have recruited 1,700 more health workers to speed up immunisation, especially in the districts, where the vaccination rates are very low,” he said.
Mr Orakzai said Covid-19 vaccination campaigns were monitored online from the health secretariat to ensure its smooth progress.
“The inoculation exercise will continue until the infection is there. The people can be protected against the virus only through jabs provided free of charge at over 700 centres in the province,” he said.
The secretary said a mechanism had also been introduced enduring that the district administration led the campaigns in collaboration with the health and other departments and reach the targeted population.
He said the people, who had received the first Covid-19 vaccine dose, should get the second one as well to ensure their protection against the virus.
Mr Orakzai said the department had planned a Covid-19 performance review meeting after three days and would look into the issues slowing down immunisation and the ways to create demand for immunisation.
He said health workers showing laxity in the vaccination campaigns would face disciplinary action.