(Representative image) Photograph:( Reuters )
In the meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, a detailed presentation was done on the progress of the countrywide vaccination drive, with focus on states or UTs that are lagging behind in providing coverage to the vulnerable population groups
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Tuesday held a review meeting through video conferencing with administrators from States and Union Territories (UTs) on the progress of COVID-19 vaccination and modifications on the CoWIN software that will provide more flexibility to vaccine administrators.
In the meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, a detailed presentation was done on the progress of the countrywide vaccination drive, with focus on states or UTs that are lagging behind in providing coverage to the vulnerable population groups.
The scope to substantially speed up vaccination in this category was stressed, an official statement said.While the States have been urged repeatedly to keep vaccine wastage below 1 per cent, many States such as Jharkhand (37.3 per cent), Chhattisgarh (30.2 per cent), Tamil Nadu (15.5 per cent), Jammu and Kashmir (10.8 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (10.7 per cent) are reporting much higher wastage than the national average which is 6.3 per cent, the ministry said.
The Union Health Secretary urged the States or UTs to make complete use of the available flexibilities on CoWin to enhance the pace of vaccination drive.States were advised to plan for scaling up of the vaccination coverage through available stocks and anticipated supplies till the end of June.
"States or UTs were advised to prepare a district-wise, COVID Vaccination Centre (CVC)-wise plan for the administration of COVID-19 vaccine till June 15 and use multiple media platforms for dissemination of such a plan. They were also advised to prepare and quickly implement a decentralised communication strategy to address vaccine hesitancy in rural, tribal or hard-to-reach areas," the statement said.
The meeting noted that lactating women amongst Health Care Workers and Front Line Workers who have not received vaccination are to be prioritised for vaccination.The States or UTs were advised to make proactive efforts for engagement of private sector hospitals in COVID-19 vaccination and ensure monitoring of pace of vaccination and strict adherence to SOPs of COVID-19 vaccination shared by the Centre.
In the meeting, it was reemphasised that both government and 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.
The Additional Health Secretary highlighted the new features and functionalities of CoWIN digital platform. Informing about the CVC management, the official said that the minimum age can now be set to any value from 18 to 44 years.
States were also informed that Sputnik has now been added to the CoWIN portal.Another flexibility added on the CoWIN platform is that there will be the provision for separate sessions for people between 18 to 44 years and for people above 45 years. "Sessions can now be rescheduled instead of cancellation while recording the reason for the same," the release said.As per the Ministry, a total of 19,85,38,999 vaccine doses have been administered through 28,41,151 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am today.