Punjab extends time limit for health workers to get first jab

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Chandigarh, Feb 8 (PTI) The Punjab government extended on Monday the time limit for the healthcare workers to get their first shot of coronavirus vaccine from February 12 to 19.

This was decided at a meeting of the state steering committee for COVID-19 vaccination that was chaired by the Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, according to a government release.

It was decided that the first dose of vaccine, which was to be provided to healthcare workers till Friday, will now be given up till February 19. Those who fail to opt for vaccination by then will be vaccinated with the general population and may not get free vaccination on priority, as per the statement.

The vaccination of frontline workers in the second phase will be completed by the first week of March, it said.

Reviewing the progress of the inoculation drive, the chief secretary directed the Health Department to monitor and review the post-vaccination adverse reaction, if any, to the vaccinated beneficiaries.

Mahajan instructed the department to collect offline data of healthcare and frontline workers, who have not yet been registered and are willing to get vaccinated, and keep it ready for registration. The state government will request the Centre to allow uploading such data and vaccinate the interested persons covered under the priority groups.

She asked the department officials to minimise the wastage of the vaccine and strictly monitor the use. The official directed immediately collection of the data of frontline workers working at the state headquarters to cover them under the ongoing drive.

Health Principal Secretary Hussan Lal assured the Chief Secretary of prompt action by the department on the suggestions and directions given by her. He said 2.05 lakh healthcare and 1.68 lakh frontline workers had been registered for vaccination in the state so far.

All healthcare workers have been offered the opportunity to receive their first dose of vaccination. He also assured that vaccination of frontline workers will be completed by the first week of March. PTI CHS VSD HMB