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The central government has asked states to focus on increasing the coverage of the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine among healthcare workers (HCW) and frontline workers (FLW).

Further, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has highlighted low vaccination coverage and also informed states about the modifications of the CoWIN platform to make it more effective.

"States/UTs were asked to sharpen their focus and prepare effective plans for expediting the second dose administration for the HCWs and FLWs. States were asked to dedicate special time slots or sessions for the exercise," read a statement released after a high-level meeting on Thursday.

According to the central government data, the national average for the administration of the first dose among HCWs is 82% and the national average for the second dose is only 56%.

As many as 18 states and union territories, including Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Assam, have coverage below the national average in this aspect.

For FLWs, the national average of first dose coverage is 85% but of the second dose is only 47%.

In this aspect,19 states and UTs have reported second dose coverage of FLWs less than the national average. Among them are Bihar, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Telangana, Karnataka, and Punjab.

According to the statement, the Union health secretary reiterated that universal coverage and full protection of HCWs and FLWs is crucial to strengthen the healthcare response against Covid-19.

He added that timely completion of vaccination schedule is important for conferring full protection to beneficiaries.

Bhushan also highlighted the private sector's less than adequate participation in the Covid vaccination drive.

Additionally, the states were also told that the CoWIN platform is now available in 12 languages. The platform is equipped to register UDID unique disability ID card as well in light of the new vaccination guidelines.

As part of new features, rectifications can be done once in the personal information in any of the two fields.

"Change in vaccine type, date of vaccination, vaccination events particular not recorded in CoWIN can be made with the help of District Immunization Officers (DIO)s. These changes can't be done by users themselves but users have to request the DIO," the statement read.

It further said that DIOs are allowed to edit/update the Vaccine Utilisation Reports (VURs) submitted by the vaccinators and make corrections if needed.

"States can offer walk-in registrations for the age group 45 sessions if onsite capacity is greater than 0. Walk-in sessions for the 18-44 group can also be organized if "onsite-dose 2" capacity is greater than 0. States were advised to widely publicise about this at the CVCs," the statement said.

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