03 Mar 2021: Utilize all private hospitals for vaccination drive: Centre tells states
With lakhs of people registering to get the dose of coronavirus vaccine after the second phase of the inoculation drive started on Monday, the Centre on Tuesday allowed states to make use of all private hospitals, even those who aren't linked with government health schemes, for administering jabs, reports Indian Express.
Hospitals can also extend vaccination sessions after consulting with state governments.
Details: Registrations crossed 50 lakh since second phase began on Monday
The second phase targets those aged above 60 and above 45 having co-morbidities; the first phase was meant for healthcare and frontline workers.
In the first two days, 10,000 private hospitals enrolled under Ayushman Bharat Scheme, 600 under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), and State Health Insurance worked as vaccination centers.
But with registrations crossing 50 lakh, the Centre decided to expand the drive.
Directions: States allowed to enlist private hospitals with riders
On Tuesday, Union Heath Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting, that also saw Dr. Ram S Sharma, Chairman of the Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration, in attendance.
States were directed to enlist all private hospitals for vaccination. The private facilities, however, must have an adequate number of vaccinators, proper management to monitor Adverse Events Following Immunisation, and cold chain storage.
Fact: Vaccinations needn't necessarily stop at 5 pm
"Co-WIN 2.0 doesn't provide for a 9 am to 5 pm vaccination session. It has done away with the timeline. If the hospital has the capacity, the system permits the hospital to do vaccinations even after 5 pm," Bhushan said in a briefing earlier.
Statement: People faced issues but speed is good: Dr. Sharma
Dr. Sharma admitted that people faced problems during self-registration but seemed pleased with the numbers.
"Every hour around 2 lakh have been registering. This is good speed. However, if there are any issues, we will resolve them," he said.
He also underlined that Co-WIN app 2.0 is not meant for registrations. "Only Aarogya Setu provides that facility or beneficiaries can register on the website," he added.
Availability: There are enough vaccines, don't store doses
During the meeting, states were told to allot adequate vaccines to centers as there are enough doses.
They were asked not to "store, reserve, conserve or create a buffer stock of the COVID-19 vaccines at the State and district levels."
"Ensure adequate allocation of vaccines to all hospitals (government and private) for the entire duration for which sessions has been planned," states were informed.
Fact: In some states, 100% of healthcare workers got first dose
Meanwhile, all healthcare workers in Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Lakshadweep have been given the first dose of vaccine. "Some of these states had reported hesitancy. Tamil Nadu was a particular cause of concern. This is a significant improvement," Bhushan said.
Also see: COVID-19 vaccination: Private hospitals can't charge more than Rs. 250/shot
Private hospitals to charge for COVID-19 vaccine: Details here
Private hospitals may get coronavirus vaccine by March: Serum CEO
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