Centre asks states to plan for scaling up vaccination through stocks, supplies till June-end

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New Delhi, May 25 (PTI) The Centre on Tuesday advised states and UTs to plan for scaling up vaccination coverage through available stocks and anticipated supplies till the end of June, while private hospitals were advised not to allow offline vaccine registration as all registrations should be online. The Union Health Ministry, which held a review meeting through a video conference with administrators from states and UTs on the progress of vaccination, urged the states and UTs to make complete use of the available flexibilities on CoWIN to enhance the pace of vaccination drive, a Health Ministry statement said.

The visibility of anticipated supplies of each tranche with expected date of delivery up till June 15 for free supply by Government of India and till June 30 for directly procured vaccine doses by states has been provided by the Union Health Ministry to all states and UTs, the statement said.

They were advised to constitute a two or three member dedicated team to regularly coordinate with vaccine manufacturers for timely supplies of vaccine through 'other than Government of India channel' which also includes private hospitals (the list of private hospital along with doses contracted and supplied is being shared daily with states and UTs). Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a review meeting through video conference with administrators from states and UTs on the progress of vaccination, modifications on CoWIN software that will provide more flexibility to vaccine administrators, along with the effective implementation of SoPs for containment and management of COVID (particularly in areas underserved by health infrastructure).

A detailed presentation on the progress of the countrywide vaccination drive was presented, with a focus on states and UTs that are lagging behind in providing coverage to the vulnerable population groups. The coverage of first and second doses to healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs) state-wise was reviewed. The scope to substantially speed up vaccination in this category was stressed, the statement said.

'Whereas states have been urged repeatedly to keep vaccine wastage below 1 per cent, many states such as Jharkhand (37.3 pc), Chhattisgarh (30.2 pc), Tamil Nadu (15.5 pc), Jammu and Kashmir (10.8 pc), Madhya Pradesh (10.7 pc) are reporting much higher wastage than the national average (6.3 pc),' the statement said.

States and UTs were advised to prepare a district-wise, Covid Vaccination Centre (CVC)-wise plan for administration of COVID-19 vaccine till June 15 and use multiple media platforms for dissemination of such a plan, the statement said. They were also advised to prepare and quickly implement decentralised communication strategy to address vaccine hesitancy in rural, tribal or hard-to-reach areas. Lactating women among healthcare and frontline workers who have not received vaccination are to be prioritised, the statement said.

States and UTs were advised to make proactive efforts for engagement of private sector hospitals in COVID-19 vaccination and ensure monitoring for pace of vaccination and strict adherence to SOPs of vaccination shared by Government of India.

It was re-emphasised that both government and private CVCs are required to publish their calendar on CoWIN in advance and should desist from publishing single day calendars to ensure that there is no overcrowding at the CVCs and the process of booking appointments on CoWIN is hassle-free, the statement said.

States were also informed that Russian vaccine Sputnik has now been added to CoWIN portal.

It was reiterated to the states that as per the latest advisory shared with them regarding workplace Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs), family members as defined by the employers will henceforth be covered for vaccination. Furthermore, there will be special sessions for 'Persons Without Identity Cards', the statement said.

Another flexibility added on CoWIN is that there will be a provision for separate sessions for 18-44 years and 45+ years categories. Sessions can now be rescheduled instead of cancellation while recording the reason for the same.

Private hospitals were advised not to allow offline vaccine registration as all registrations should be online. It was also clarified that industrial organizations and corporate entities that don't have a hospital are required to tie up with a private hospital.

Private hospitals were also advised to publish adequately longer schedules of vaccination in terms of days.

Regarding the publication of schedule, states have been advised to fix a time duration in a day for publishing the schedule (e.g. between 8 am and 9 am, 9 pm to 10 pm etc.) to make it easier for citizens to see availability and book appointments in a simple and easy manner, the statement said. PTI PLB AAR AAR

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