Centre chairs meeting with States ahead of next Covid vaccination phase

at 6:18 pm
Rajesh Bhushan
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan

New Delhi (NVI): Ahead of the second phase of Covid-19 vaccination starting from March 1, the Centre chaired a high-level meeting with States and Union Territories (UTs) today on the inoculation of age-appropriate groups and the expansion of the vaccination programme.

During the meeting, chaired by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan along with Chairman of Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration (Co-WIN) RS Sharma, the states and UTs were explained the basic features of version 2.0 of the digital platform CO-Win, according to a statement released by Health Ministry.

CoWin is a population-scale software with capacity of processing several thousands of entries.

The beneficiaries will be able to self register in advance by downloading the CO-Win 2.0 portal and through other IT Applications such as Arogya Setu etc, the statement added.

This will show the Government and private hospitals serving as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) with date and time of the available schedules. The beneficiary would be able to choose the CVC of his/her choice and book an appointment for vaccination.

Meanwhile, the beneficiaries can also avail the facility of On-Site registration which allows those who cannot self register in advance to walk into the identified COVID Vaccination Centres and get themselves registered on-site and then vaccinated.

Furthermore, under the Facilitated Cohort Registration, the State/UT Government will take proactive lead.

Specific date(s) for COVID vaccination will be decided where target groups of potential beneficiates will be vaccinated. The State/UT health authorities will ensure that that the target groups are actively mobilised and brought to the vaccination centres.

Under all the above three routes, all beneficiaries would be captured on Co-WIN2.0 platform and would be issued digital QR Code based provisional (on receiving the first does) and final (on receiving second dose) certificates.

The ministry further added, “Vaccination will be free of charge at the government vaccination centres. Those taking the COVID vaccine at any designated/empanelled private health facility will have to pay a pre-fixed charge.”

The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16. This is now to be exponentially expanded to the vulnerable age-groups – all citizens above 60 years and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities – from March 1.

“The new phase of vaccination of age-appropriate groups will expand the COVID vaccination in the country manifold. With a citizen–centric approach, the fundamental shift in this phase is that citizens in the identified age groups, as also those healthcare and frontline workers who have been missed out or left out of the present phase of vaccination, can select vaccination centres of their choice,” it said.

Secondly, the private sector hospitals will be involved as COVID-19 vaccination centres to harness their potential to expand the vaccination capacities, it stated.

It was pointed out that all CVCs must be government-run health facilities such as SHCs, PHCs, CHCs, Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres, Sub-Division Hospitals, District Hospitals and Medical College Hospitals or private hospitals empanelled under Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PM JAY) and similar State Health Insurance Schemes.

States and UTs were asked to ensure that private health facilities mandatorily must have adequate space for the vaccination process, as detailed in the comprehensive SOPs issued by the Ministry, basic cold chain equipments, their own team of vaccinators and staff, and adequate facility for management of any AEFI cases for using them as CVCs.

The beneficiary will have to show a photo ID document for proof of age (preferably Aadhar card or EPIC card) and certificate of co-morbidity (if required), the statement read.