Centre urges states/UTs to exponentially increase pace of COVID-19 vaccination

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Saturday urged states and Union territories to exponentially increase the pace of coronavirus vaccination and schedule the inoculation of all healthcare workers at least once before February 20.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan also asked the states/UTs to ensure that beneficiaries of the inaugural vaccination day on January 16 should start getting a second dose on February 13. In a statement, the health ministry said there remains a substantial scope for improvement in the number of average vaccinations per inoculation session.

“The state health secretaries were asked to analyze the daily variation in the number of average vaccinations and take necessary steps to increase them. States/UTs were advised to ensure 100 per cent saturation of people who have already been registered on CoWin digital platform. They were also asked to organise simultaneous vaccination sessions/day in the health facility wherever possible. Each state/UT was advised to devise a state specific strategy to achieve this target,” it said.

The states/UTs were also advised to ensure regular review meetings of the state, district and block task force to assess emerging challenges, understand ground issues and promptly address them at appropriate levels, it said.

“Every state/UT must schedule all healthcare workers for vaccination at least once before February 20, 2021 and immediately thereafter organise mop-up rounds for them. Similarly, all frontline workers must be scheduled for vaccination at least once before March 6, 2021 and immediately thereafter organise mop-up rounds for them,” the ministry said.

The ministry said the failure of potential beneficiaries to get vaccinated in the mop-up round would automatically push them to age-appropriate vaccination category.

The health secretary also reiterated the need for adequate attention to issuance of provisional digital vaccination certificates after the first dose and final certificate after completing the second dose; importance of authentication of beneficiaries; and timely data reconciliation on CoWIN application.

He added that CoWIN 2.0 version will be released soon.