Increase the pace of Covid-19 vaccination, Centre tells states

at 8:02 pm
Rajesh Bhushan
Rajesh Bhushan, secretary, Ministry of Health

New Delhi (NVI): The Centre today asked states and Union Territories to exponentially increase the pace of COVID-19 vaccination.

The states and UT’s have been asked to improve the momentum and accelerate the coverage as the country moves forward with the COVID vaccination drive, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

This was done during a review meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

The Union Health Secretary appreciated the creditworthy performance of all States and UTs on COVID19 vaccination.

Elaborating on the global landmarks crossed by India, he underlined that India is the fastest country to reach the 5 million-mark in COVID19 vaccination in just 21 days. Several other countries which have had a head start, some as much as 60 days, have taken a longer time to reach this target.

“It was pointed that there remains a substantial scope for improvement in the number of average vaccinations per vaccination session,” the statement added.

Furthermore, health secretaries of states have been asked to analyze the daily variation in the number of average vaccinations and take necessary steps to increase them.

“States/UTs were advised to ensure 100% saturation of people who have already been registered on CoWin digital platform. They were also asked to organize simultaneous vaccination sessions/day in the health facility wherever possible. Each State/UT was advised to devise a state specific strategy to achieve this target,” it added.

While there are 12 States/UTs that have achieved 60 per cent or more vaccination coverage of healthcare workers, they were all advised to improve the percentage coverage of vaccinated beneficiaries as there are many States and UTs that need to improve their performance on this parameter.

In addition to this, states/ UTs were advised to ensure regular review meetings of the State, District and Block Task Force to assess the emerging challenges, understand the ground issues and promptly address them at the appropriate levels.

Every state/UT must schedule all healthcare workers for vaccination at least once before Feb 20, 2021, and immediately thereafter organize mop-up rounds for them.

Similarly, all frontline workers must be scheduled for vaccination at least once before March 6, 2021 and immediately thereafter organize mop-up rounds for them. The failure of potential beneficiaries to get vaccinated in the mop-up round would automatically push them to age-appropriate vaccination category, Health Ministry said.

The second dose of the vaccine is also scheduled to start from February 13, 2021, for people who were vaccinated on Jan 16, 2021, the ministry added.

The Health Secretary reiterated need for adequate attention to issuance of provisional digital vaccination certificate after the first dose and final certificate after completing the second dose is required to be issued; importance of authentication of beneficiaries and also timely data reconciliation on the CoWIN app.

He further stated that CoWIN 2.0 version will also be released soon.