Union health ministry holds a virtual review meeting with administrators from states and UTs on the progress of vaccination
While vaccine shortage has hampered covid-19 vaccination program in several states, vaccine wastage is as high as 37.3% in Jharkhand (37.3%), 30.2% in Chhattisgarh and 15.5% in Tamil Nadu.
Similarly, Jammu and Kashmir (10.8%), Madhya Pradesh (10.7%) are reporting much higher wastage than the national average (6.3%) when States have been urged repeatedly to keep vaccine wastage below 1%, according to the data available with the union health ministry.
Union health ministry on Tuesday held a virtual review meeting with administrators from States and UTs on the progress of vaccination in States, modifications on the CoWIN software that will provide more flexibility to vaccine administrators, along with the effective implementation of standard operating procedures (SOP) for containment and management of covid-19 particularly in areas underserved by health infrastructure.
A detailed presentation on the progress of the countrywide vaccination drive across the country was presented, with focus on States/UTs that are lagging behind in providing coverage to the vulnerable population groups. The coverage of 1st and 2nd doses to the Healthcare Workers (HCWs) and Frontline Workers (FLWs) State-wise was reviewed. The scope to substantially speed up vaccination in this category was stressed.
“The States/UTs should make complete use of the available flexibilities on CoWIN to enhance pace of vaccination drive," said Rajesh Bhushan Union Health Secretary who chaired the meeting.
States/UTs were advised to plan for scaling up of vaccination coverage through available stocks and anticipated supplies till end of June,2021. The visibility of anticipated supplies of each tranche with expected date of delivery up till 15th June’21 for free supply by government of India and till 30th June for directly procured vaccine doses by States has been provided by the Union Health Ministry to all States/UTs.
They were advised to constitute a 2/3-member dedicated team to regularly coordinate with vaccine manufacturers for timely supplies of vaccine through ‘Other than government of India channel’ which also includes private Hospitals. The list of private Hospital along with doses contracted and supplied is being shared daily with States/UTs, the government said.
States/UTs were advised to prepare a district-wise, COVID Vaccination Centre (CVC)-wise plan for administration of covid-19 vaccine till 15th June 2021 and use multiple media platforms for dissemination of such a plan. They were also advised to prepare and quickly implement decentralized communication strategy to address vaccine hesitancy in rural, tribal or hard-to-reach areas. Lactating women amongst Health Care Workers and Frontline Workers who have not received vaccination are to be prioritized for vaccination. States/UTs were advised to make proactive efforts for engagement of private sector hospitals in covid-19 vaccination.
It was reemphasised that both government and private CVCs are required to publish their calendar on CoWIN in advance and should desist from publishing single day calendars to ensure that there is no overcrowding at the CVCs and the process of booking appointments on CoWIN is also hassle-free.
It was reiterated to the states that as per the latest advisory shared with them regarding workplace COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs), family members as defined by the employers will henceforth be covered for vaccination. Furthermore, there will be Special Sessions for ‘Persons Without Identity Cards’.
Another flexibility added on CoWIN is that there will be the provision for separate sessions for 18-44 and 45+ years. Sessions can now be rescheduled instead of cancellation while recording the reason for the same.
Private hospitals were advised not to allow offline vaccine registration; all registrations should be online. It was also clarified that Industrial organizations and Corporate entities that don’t have a hospital are required to tie up with a private hospital. Private Hospitals were also advised to publish adequately longer schedule of vaccination in terms of days. Regarding publication of schedule, States have been advised to fix a time duration in a day for publishing the schedule (e.g. between 8 am and 9 am, 9 pm to 10 pm etc.) to make it easier for citizens to see availability and book appointments in a simple and easy manner.
At least 1,96,427 new covid-19 cases were registered in the last 24 hours with around 3509 deaths.