New Delhi, As part of its commitment to pro-actively guide, review and monitor the COVID-19 vaccination drive in collaboration with States and UTs and all stakeholders, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) today held a review meeting through video conferencing 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 SoPs for containment and management of COVID (particularly in areas underserved by health infrastructure). These steps form the backbone of the Public Health envisaged to contain the pandemic. This meeting was chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
A detailed presentation on the progress of the countrywide vaccination drive across the country was presented, with focus on States and 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.
Whereas States has been urged repeatedly to keep vaccine wastage below 1%, many States such as Jharkhand (37.3%), Chhattisgarh (30.2%), Tamil Nadu (15.5%), Jammu and Kashmir (10.8%), Madhya Pradesh (10.7%) are reporting much higher wastage than the national average (6.3%).
Union Health Secretary urged the States/UTs to make complete use of the available flexibilities on CoWIN to enhance pace of vaccination drive.
States and 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 Govt. of India and till 30th June for directly procured vaccine doses by States has been provided by the Union Health Ministry to all States and 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 Govt. of India channel’ which also includes Pvt. Hospitals (the list of Pvt. Hospital along with doses contracted and supplied is being shared daily with States/UTs).
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 Front Line 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 and ensure monitoring for pace of vaccination and strict adherence to SOPs of COVID-19 vaccination shared by Government of India. It was reemphasised that both Govt. & 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.