The Centre today reviewed the progress of vaccination and public health response to COVID-19 with States and Union Territories. States have been advised to focus on second dose coverage among Healthcare workers and Frontline workers. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired the high-level meeting with the States and UTs.
During the meeting, the progress of vaccination was reviewed in the light of the revised guidelines for implementation of National COVID Vaccination Program and recent advisories. States were also informed of the modifications of the CoWIN platform aimed to make it more effective as a backend management tool for the countrywide vaccination drive. States were informed that the CoWIN platform is now available in 12 languages.
Mr Bhushan highlighted the low vaccination coverage among Healthcare Workers and Frontline Workers, especially for the second dose. He termed it as a cause of serious concern. The Secretary said, the national average for the 1st dose administration among the Health care workers is 82 per cent and the national average for second dose among is only 56 per cent. He said, 18 States and UTs including Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Assam have coverage below the national average in this aspect.
Mr Bhushan said, for Front line workers, the national average of first dose coverage is 85 per cent but the national average of second dose coverage is only 47 per cent. He said, 19 States and UTs have reported 2nd dose coverage of front line workers less than the national average. The States and Union Territories include Bihar, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Telangana, Karnataka and Punjab.
The Secretary highlighted less than adequate private sector participation in the COVID vaccination drive to the States and UTs. As per the revised guidelines, 25 per cent of the vaccine stock can be procured by the private hospitals which can set up private COVID vaccination centres for supplementing the Government’s efforts in further universalisation of the vaccination drive. Limited presence of private hospitals and their unequal spread were highlighted for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam.