States asked to provide Covid-19 vaccine doses for 2-4 weeks to every hospital

Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  The Centre on Tuesday asked states to register and activate all private facilities for Covid-19 vaccinations and also provide sufficient stock of vaccine doses to hospitals for 15-28 days so that the facilities can offer online open slots to citizens.

“Visibility of more open slots not only assures the citizens about the services but also helps avoid overcrowding on account of perceived scarcity in absence of clear visibility of vaccination slots,” said the instructions by the Union government to the states.

The directions come following complaints from several parts that upon registration on specified portals and apps for vaccinations, beneficiaries are struggling to find slots for several weeks and a larger number of vaccinations are happening through walk-ins.

In a high-level review meeting of the drive, chaired by P K Mishra, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, top officials at the Centre also reiterated that there is no shortage of vaccine doses in any state.

States and UTs were particularly urged to leverage the private sector to the maximum to enhance coverage, taking advantage of the liberal guidelines issued by the Centre, providing sufficient stock of vaccines necessary for these centres to work at their optimum and providing any other facilitation required.

The advisory came on a day total Covid-19 vaccination crossed 2.40 crore of whom nearly 60 lakh include those above 60 and people between 45-59 years with serious candidates. Of these, more than 10 lakh vaccinations were carried out on Tuesday as per the provisional reports.

In the meeting with state chief secretaries and other officials from the states, cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba also advised them to ramp up the speed of vaccination, to cover as many eligible people as possible, in as short a duration as possible, especially given the large population to be covered.

States were asked to prepare a detailed roadmap for the next three months for achieving the targets.

A key direction involved encouraging registration for vaccination over “walk-in” mode, to facilitate the entire process by making it more convenient for the citizen, as well as administering authorities a forward view of expected demand to plan accordingly and avoid over-crowding.