Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Centre reviews progress of Vaccination and Public Health response to COVID with States/UTs

Union Health Secretary Shri Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting today with the States/UTs. 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 CoWIN platform aimed to make it more effective as a backend management tool for the countrywide vaccination drive. The Union Health Secretary highlighted the low vaccination coverage among Healthcare Workers (HCW) and Frontline Workers (FLW), especially for the second dose for both the priority groups, terming it as a cause of serious concern.

While the national average for the 1st dose administration among the HCWs is 82%, the national average for 2nd dose among HCWs is only 56%. 18 States/UTs including Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Assam have coverage below the national average in this aspect.

For FLWs, the national average of 1st dose coverage is 85% but the national average of second dose coverage for FLWs is only 47%. 19 States/UTs have reported 2nd dose coverage of FLWs less than the national average. Among them are Bihar, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Telangana, Karnataka, and Punjab.

Union Health Secretary reiterated that universal coverage and full protection amongst this group is crucial to protect healthcare response to pandemic and timely completion of vaccination schedule is important for conferring full protection to beneficiaries. States/UTs were asked to sharpen their focus and prepare effective plans for expediting the second dose administration for the HCWs and FLWs. States were asked to dedicate special time slots or sessions for the exercise.

The Secretary highlighted less than adequate private sector participation in the COVID vaccination drive to the States/UTs. As per the revised guidelines, 25% of the vaccine stock can be procured by the private hospitals which can set up private CVCs for supplementing the Government’s efforts in further universalization of the vaccination drive. Limited presence of private hospitals and their unequal spread were highlighted for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, etc.

States were alerted to the new features in Co-WIN portal which were incorporated in light of the new vaccination guidelines.

Rectifications can be done in the personal information by the citizens requesting changes only in any of the two fields out of the four mentioned. These changes are allowed only once. Once updated the old certificate will be deleted and it will not be possible to reverse the changes.

Change in vaccine type, date of vaccination, vaccination events particular not recorded in Co-WIN can be made with the help of District Immunization Officers (DIO)s. These changes can’t be done by users themselves but users have to request the DIO.

A feature to tag the existing CVCs as Urban and Rural is also being provided.

States were also informed of the vaccine utilization feature. The DIOs are allowed to edit/update the Vaccine Utilisation Reports (VURs) submitted by the vaccinators and make corrections, if needed. The States/UTs were asked to thoroughly train the vaccinators and DIOs to prevent data entry errors.

States were informed that the CoWIN platform is now available in 12 languages. The platform is equipped to register UDID unique disability ID card as well. It was also pointed that accounts now can be blocked for 24 hours if greater than 1000 searches are done in 50 login sessions of 15 minutes each.

States can offer walk-in registrations for age group 45+ sessions if onsite capacity is greater than 0. Walk-in sessions for the 18-44 group can also be organized if “onsite-dose 2” capacity is greater than 0. States were advised to widely publicise about this at the CVCs.

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