Make Covid vaccine slot booking easier: Centre

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  The Centre on Tuesday asked states to keep a fixed window everyday for publishing the Covid-19 vaccination schedule on the CoWIN portal to make it easier for people to see availability and book appointments.

The instruction comes amid complaints that there is no uniformity in publishing the slots available at vaccination centres, which means people have to spend a lot of time looking for slots every day.In a meeting on the progress of the inoculation drive in the country, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said private hospitals should not allow offline vaccine registration and all registrations should be online, following SOPs shared by the Centre.

Private hospitals were also advised to publish adequately longer schedules of vaccination, in terms of days rather than single day calendars, to ensure there is no overcrowding at vaccination centres and the process of booking appointments on CoWIN is also more hassle-free. It was also clarified that industrial organisations and corporate entities which don’t have a hospital are required to tie up with a private hospital.

While states have been urged repeatedly to keep vaccine wastage below 1%, in many states such as Jharkhand (37.3%), Chhattisgarh (30.2%), Tamil Nadu (15.5%), Jammu and Kashmir (10.8%), Madhya Pradesh (10.7%), the wastage is above acceptable limits, the health ministry highlighted.Bhushan also asked states to make complete use of the available flexibilities on CoWIN to enhance pace of vaccination.

States have been asked to plan for scaling up of vaccination coverage through available stocks and anticipated supplies till June end, with an assurance of the visibility of anticipated supplies of each tranche with expected date of delivery up to June 15 for the Central quota supply and till June 30 for state quota supply.

It was also suggested that states should form dedicated teams to regularly coordinate with vaccine manufacturers for timely supply through state and private hospital quotas. States were also directed to prepare and implement decentralised communication strategy to address vaccine hesitancy in rural, tribal or faraway areas.

Over 570 orphans in ministry tally577 children in India have been orphaned due to Covid-19, Women & Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said. This daily was the first to run a series on children orphaned in the pandemic.