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In order to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country, the Centre on Wednesday said that it may allow vaccination sessions to be organised at workplaces (public and private offices).

It said that such sessions will be allowed for offices having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries by tagging these workplaces with existing an COVID vaccination centre (CVC), reported news agency ANI.

The Centre also added that such work place vaccination centres may be launched across states/UTs from 11th April 2021, as per reports.

"A substantial proportion of population aged between 45-59 years (in some cases up to 65 years) are in the organized sector of the economy. They are involved in formal occupation in offices (government and private), in manufacturing and services etc...Organizing vaccination at workplace will not only be convenient to the staff at Work Places but also help to avoid travel and hence reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 virus," the Centre said in a statement to states and UTs.

For this, the Centre ordered that the District Task Force (DTF) chaired by District Magistrate and Urban Task Force (UTF) chaired by Municipal Commissioner will identify such government and private workplaces after due deliberations with relevant employers and / or Head of offices.

It also said that Beneficiaries must be registered in Co-WIN portal prior to vaccination. "CVC Nodal Officer will ensure registration of all targeted beneficiaries and facility of on-the spot registration will also be available but only to employees of the workplace."

For optimal utilization of resources, vaccination session will be planned at workplace covid vaccination centres once at least 50 beneficiaries get registered for vaccination, Centre further added.

The schedule of vaccination session can be made up to 15 days in advance and intimated to the workplaces so that maximum attendance is ensured on the day of vaccination. In most of the work places vaccination schedule may, however, be completed in less than 15 days, it said.

"In-charges of government or private CVCs with which the Work Place CVCs are tagged for COVID-19 vaccination will be responsible to ensure training of these health care staff prior to deployment," the statement further added.

"The workplace CVCs staff engaged in COVID-19 vaccination activities will follow the same SOPs for vaccination and reporting including management and reporting of AEFIs," the Centre said.

The development comes as the number of new coronavirus cases in India hit a record daily high since the outbreak of the pandemic with over 1.15 lakh new infections being reported in a span of 24 hours, pushing the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,28,01,785, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

The single-day rise in coronavirus cases breached the 1-lakh mark for the second time in three days.

However, in a significant development, India has surpassed the United States to become the fastest vaccinating country in the world with an average daily rate of 30,93,861 vaccine doses, said the the health ministry said today.

According to the ministry, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 8.70 crores today with more than 33 lakh vaccination doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

As on day 81 of the vaccination drive on April 6, a total of 33,37,601 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 30,08,087 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 41,396 sessions for 1st dose and 3,29,514 beneficiaries received 2nd dose of the vaccine.

India started its mega Covid-19 vaccination drive on 16 January with two made-in-India Covid-19 vaccines: the locally made Oxford Covid-19 vaccine 'Covishield' manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech's indigenously manufactured Covaxin. The vaccination programme started with healthcare and frontline workers given priority. From March onwards, senior citizens and those above 45 years of age with co-morbidities were included as beneficieires for the jabs. On 1 April, the Centre further extended the eligibility to all above 45 years of age.

With agency inputs

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