Hospitals can extend or advance the vaccination schedule any day and do not have to stick to a fixed schedule to inoculate people against Covid-19 and, the government has said, in a move that will help speed up the vaccination drive.
“The government has removed time constraint to increase the speed of vaccination. People can get vaccinated 24×7 at their convenience. Prime Minister Narendra Modi understands the value of both time and health of citizens,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted, replying to a report by a newspaper.
Since all hospitals, both private and government ones, are linked by the government’s CoWIN app and website, the flexible schedule allowed by the government is applicable to both.
The Centre on Tuesday permitted all private hospitals to give Covid-19 vaccine if they adhere to the laid down norms and also asked the states and union territories to utilise the optimum capacity of private medical facilities empanelled under three categories.
The states and Union territories were also urged not to store, reserve, conserve or create a buffer stock of the COVID-19 vaccines, the Union Health ministry said in a statement, a day after the start of the second phase of India’s inoculation drive in which the coverage has been expanded to include everyone above 60 and those over 45 with specified co-morbidities.
At an official review meeting with the states, the Centre reiterated there is no shortage of the vaccines and hence, adequate vaccine doses should be allocated to the COVID Vaccination Centres(CVCs) “The central government has adequate stock and will provide the required vaccine doses to the states and UTs,” it said.
The Centre urged the states and the UTs to ensure adequate allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to all hospitals, government as well as private, for the entire duration for which vaccination sessions have been planned. It asked them to utilise the optimum capacity of all private hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and the state health insurance schemes to enable them to effectively function as CVCs.