On Wednesday, the Centre asked the states and union territories about their status and pace of immunization drive across their regions and take corrective actions after identifying low vaccine-coverage pockets in districts reporting a surge in covid-19 cases.
The virtual meeting was chaired by the National Health Authority (NHA) CEO and the Chairperson of the Empowered Group on COVID Vaccination, Dr. R S Sharma, and Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, and other members. The mission directors of NHM and the immunization officers of all states and UTs were also present.
The ministry said that from 1st April 2021, India is opening up its COVID-19 vaccination drive to people above 45 years. They stated that the primary theme of the meet was to identify the low vaccine coverage pockets districts reporting COVID-19 surge and for taking corrective actions there.
The Centre laid much advice to the states and UTs. These include ensuring that only eligible beneficiaries were registered and vaccinated under the respective categories of healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs), conduct regular reviews of capacity utilization at private COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs), undertake GIS analysis of CVCs to identify the need for more such facilities, address anxieties of private CVCs regarding vaccine supply and guidelines, to ensure that there is no deposit of vaccine stocks at any level of storage, and the distribution is based on consumption so as to avoid overstocking or under-stocking at cold chain points and CVCs.
States and UTs were also asked to conduct regular reviews of vaccine stocks and consumption to identify gap areas and address the same, to archive incorrect and duplicate entries on the Co-WIN platform, to ensure timely utilization of available stock to avoid expiry of vaccines and update the vaccine consumption data on Co-WIN and eVIN portals.
The Ministry further asked the states and UTs to identify pockets of low vaccination coverage in health facilities, professional associations, blocks, districts for taking corrective action and ensure saturation of vaccination of these groups on priority.
The Centre added to ensure maintenance of vaccines to avoid wastage at less than one percent (current National Wastage Percentage is six percent).