States to Prioritize 2nd Dose; allocate minimum of 70% of allocated Vaccines from Govt of India channel for 2nd Dose
States to Focus on Minimum Vaccine Wastage; regular follow up with Vaccine Manufacturers; enhanced Awareness for People to take 2nd Dose
DELHI, MAY 11: Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary and Dr. R S Sharma, Chairman of Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat COVID-19 and member, National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19 reviewed the status of COVID vaccination with Health Secretaries and NHM MDs of States and UTs, through a video conference (VC) today. One of the largest such exercises globally, the countrywide COVID19 vaccination programme was launched on 16th January 2021. It has been widely expanded to include citizens above 18 years of age from 1st of May, 2021 with implementation of the Liberalised Pricing & Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy.
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After a detailed presentation highlighting various aspects of the vaccination drive with state specific data, the Union Health Secretary highlighted the following:
- States to ensure all beneficiaries who have taken the first dose are prioritised for the second doses. The urgent need to address large number of beneficiaries waiting for 2nd dose was stressed.
In this regard, States can reserve at least 70% of the Vaccines supplied to them from Government of India channel (free of cost) for second dose vaccination and remaining 30% for first dose. This however is indicative. States have the liberty to enhance this to as much as 100%. State wise numbers on CoWIN have been shared with states for their planning purposes.
The States were asked to undertake awareness campaign for reinforcing importance of complete vaccination with two doses of the vaccine.
Presenting details of States who have ensured high coverage of priority groups (like aged 45+, FLW and HCW) and the others, Union Health Secretary urged states to ensure that priority groups are vaccinated.
- States have been informed in a transparent manner in advance about the COVID vaccines being provided to them from Govt of India channel. The visibility for the forthcoming fortnight is conveyed to them in advance to enable better and more effective planning by them. The next allocation for the period 15-31th May will be conveyed to them on 14th May. It was pointed out that States can utilize the information regarding dose allocation for next 15 days to plan their vaccination sessions.
- States were also urged to minimise vaccine wastage. While the overall levels have considerably reduced, Union Health Secretary pointed that there were many states which still needed to substantially reduce the wastage. It was suggested to States/UTs to retrain and reorient vaccinators to ensure judicious usage of the vaccines. All wastage more than the national average hereafter is to be adjusted from the subsequent allocations to that State/UT.
In this context, it was also pointed out that certain States are able to report a negative wastage because the well-trained health workers can extract maximum doses per vial than what is otherwise generally earmarked.
- States were also briefed about procurement from the ‘Other than Government of India’ (OGoI) channel which has been opened in the Liberalised Phase-III Strategy of Vaccination. In view of the payments pending from States to the private vaccine manufacturers, the States were advised to constitute a dedicated team at State level of 2 or 3 senior officers to coordinate with vaccine manufacturers on a daily basis & secure State Govt. supplies promptly. This team is to also coordinate with private hospitals to facilitate their procurement thereby maintaining the momentum of the overall vaccination exercise in the State.
- The CoWIN platform is also being modified to better reflect the changing needs of the vaccination exercise. The States can download a Second Dose Due Report to better plan the completion of vaccination of the target groups. The District Immunization Officer (DIO) and COVID Vaccination Cente (CVC) Manager can increase the session capacity according to demand (which was capped at 100) and can also visualize the target group in their upcoming sessions. Beneficiaries without relevant photo ID cards like senior citizens at old-age homes, etc., can also be registered. The DIOs and CVC Managers can also download Vaccine Utilization Report (VUR).
Chairman, EG stated that COWIN will shortly provide the flexibility and feature for reserving slots for 2nd dose. CoWIN will be customised to the extent possible and will also open APIs. The need for IEC campaign for informing people that they should use only one mobile number for both doses for its reflection in their certificate was stressed. Dr Sharma reiterated the critical importance of verity and authenticity of data. He also urged States to avoid use of restrictive criteria to uphold the mantra of CoWIN providing vaccination to anyone, anywhere and at anytime.