Fifty per cent population of Madhes Pradesh has taken both the doses of the vaccine against COVID-19.

The vaccination rate has increased by around 12 per cent in the districts of Madhes Province in the last two weeks alone, the Province Health Directorate stated. The rate of people coming for vaccination has increased of late due to increase in the infection graph, publicity of vaccination drive and active role played by the local people's representatives and health workers.

"Only 38 per cent of the people above 18 years of age had been vaccinated with the second dose as of January 9. The percentage of people taking full dose of vaccines has increased and reached nearly 50 per cent in the last two weeks," the directorate's Director Bijaya Jha said. As per Jha, the percentage of people receiving full dose of vaccine is 63.3 in Sarlahi, 52.6 in Dhanusha, 53.6 in Bara, 51.1 in Parsa, 47.7 in Saptari, 46.8 in Siraha, 39.6 in Rautahat, and 36.6 in Mahottari.

Approximately 59 per cent population above 18 years of age in the province have taken single dose of vaccine. The percentage of population taking single dose vaccine is 75 in Sarlahi, 70 in Bara, 65 in Parsa, 63 in Siraha, 69 in Mahottari, 64 in Dhanusha, 61 in Saptari and 45 in Rautahat. The percentage of vaccinated people aged 12-17 years is higher compared to those above 18 years of age. Director Jha said nearly 62.2 per cent of people aged 12- 17 years had got the jabs in Madhes Province. "This percentage is third in terms of province-wise percentage of the vaccinated population.

From this aspect, we have become the province with the third highest number of children vaccinated," he said, adding that continuous efforts were under way to expand the vaccination coverage.

The government had set the target of vaccinating 66 per cent of the country's population until January 14. Although this target could not be met in Madhes Province, the percentage of vaccinated people has increased compared to the past.

A version of this article appears in the print on January 21, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.