Centre Urges States, UTs To Make Full Use Of Flexibilities Extended On CoWIN To Increase Pace Of COVID Vaccination

Centre Urges States, UTs To Make Full Use Of Flexibilities Extended On CoWIN To Increase Pace Of COVID VaccinationRepresentative image for Covid-19 vaccine (freepik)

The Centre on Tuesday (24 May) urged the states and union territories (UTs) to make complete use of the flexibilities extended on the COVID vaccination platform CoWIN to increase the pace of the inoculation drive.

The development comes after the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reveiwed the progress of vaccination with administrators from states and UTs through video conferencing.

During the review meeting, the progress of the countrywide vaccination drive was presented, with focus on states/UTs that are lagging behind in providing coverage to the vulnerable population groups, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Further, the issue of vaccine wastage was also highlighted during the meeting.

"Whereas, states has been urged repeatedly to keep vaccine wastage below 1 per cent, many states such as Jharkhand (37.3 per cent), Chhattisgarh (30.2 per cent), Tamil Nadu (15.5 per cent), Jammu and Kashmir (10.8 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (10.7 per cent) are reporting much higher wastage than the national average (6.3 per cent)," the Health Ministry said.

Union Health Secretary also urged the states/UTs to make complete use of the available flexibilities on CoWIN to enhance pace of vaccination drive.

"States, UTs were advised to plan for scaling up of vaccination coverage through available stocks and anticipated supplies till end of June 2021," the ministry added.

The visibility of anticipated supplies of each tranche with expected date of delivery up till 15 June for free supply by Centre and till 30 June for directly procured vaccine doses by states has been provided by the Union Health Ministry to all states/UTs.

Further, they were advised to constitute a two to three-member dedicated team to regularly coordinate with vaccine manufacturers for timely supplies of vaccine through ‘Other than Govt of India channel’ which also includes Private Hospitals.

States and UTs were also advised to prepare a district-wise, COVID Vaccination Centre (CVC)-wise plan for administration of COVID-19 vaccine till 15 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 Front Line Workers who have not received vaccination are to be prioritised for vaccination, the ministry said.

The Centre also advised the states and UTs to make proactive efforts for engagement of private sector hospitals in COVID-19 vaccination and ensure monitoring for pace of vaccination and strict adherence to SOPs of COVID-19 vaccination shared by the Central government.

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, the ministry said.

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