New Delhi, Jul 20 (PTI) A total of 4.81 crore doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in 176 identified tribal districts across 25 states till July 15, the government has informed Lok Sabha.
The Centre, however, said it does not maintain 'centralised data on COVID-19 mortality with urban, rural, tribal breakup'.
Replying to a question, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh Saruta said, 'The COVID-19 vaccination drive does not make any discrimination on the basis of gender, socio-economic class or residence, etc.' However, all efforts have been made to ensure vaccination of people in tribal areas, including options of registration at common service centres, 'walk-in registration' at Covid vaccination centre and 'near-to-home vaccination centres' for elderly people and people with disabilities, she said on Monday.
'The CoWIN portal does not maintain records of religion or caste of the beneficiaries. However, in the 176 identified tribal districts, as on July 15, a total of 4.81 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered,' the minister told Lok Sabha.
Tribal communities are geographically and socio-economically relatively segregated and have poor access to health care and accordingly, she said, adding that the government has issued a standard operating procedure on Covid containment and management in peri-urban, rural and tribal areas.
According to data shared by the Tribal Affairs Ministry, 62.14 lakh doses have been administered in 19 tribal districts of Madhya Pradesh till July 15.
In 19 tribal districts of Chhattisgarh, 57.8 lakh vaccine jabs have been provided from January 16, when the inoculation exercise started, to July 15.
According to the 2011 census, India has a tribal population of 10.5 crore.
To ramp up Covid vaccination among tribal people, the Centre had last week launched a campaign focusing on dispelling myths, misconceptions and fear about jabs.
The government has involved traditional leaders and local influencers to be a part of the campaign.
The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, along with UNICEF and WHO, will be conducting the campaign. It has already been initiated in Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Mandla in Madhya Pradesh. PTI GVS SNE SNE