The Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Sunday directed all the states/UTs to significantly enhance the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Health Secretary in a letter to StateD said: “A large number of Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Front Line Workers (FLWs) still remain to be covered and the progress is variable across several States/UTs The pace of vaccination drive and its coverage needs to be accelerated exponentially to cover all identified beneficiaries in a minimum possible time.” The operational strategy for initiating the vaccination of the next priority group of the elderly population and persons with co-morbidities to be taken up from March 21 is also being finalized.
In view of the anticipated high number of beneficiaries to be vaccinated at a high speed in the forthcoming days, the states and UTs are advised to ensure that all the public health facilities from tertiary level medical colleges, Hospitals, and Institutes to District Hospitals, Sub-divisional Hospitals. Community Health Centres, PHCs, Health and Wellness Centres, Health Sub-Centres should be prepared for offering COVID-19 vaccination services on all designated vaccination days, beginning from 1 March 2021.
The letter said that the number of days of vaccination in a week should also be increased to a minimum of 4 days per week at the earliest to speed up the process of vaccination and gear up to take up the vaccination of the people beyond 50 years.Bhushan said that adequate provisions have been made in the COWIN software to support such expansion of services.
“You are requested to kindly direct the concerned officials to immediately undertake the measures for expansion of COVID-19 vaccination drive your continuous guidance to the state/UT teams has been instrumental in driving the ongoing vaccination process and the same has been anticipated for the upcoming phase as well. I look forward to your continued collaboration in this critical mission of national importance,” he said.