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Activate all private facilities, provide sufficient stock of COVID-19 vaccines: Centre to states

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New Delhi, March 9: The Centre on Tuesday advised all states and union territories to register and activate all private facilities and provide sufficient stock of COVID-19 vaccines to them for 15-28 days so that they can offer online open slots to citizens for vaccination.

Visibility of more open slots not only assures the citizens about the services but also helps avoid overcrowding on account of perceived scarcity, states and UTs were told during a high-level review meeting chaired by P K Misra, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, according to a health ministry statement.
During the meeting to review the progress of COVID-19 vaccination across states and UTs, Misra asked senior officials to work through a scientific, evidence-based, micro-planned, area-specific approach to ensure convenient and safe vaccination for all, in a rapid yet sustained manner, the statement stated.
States were urged to encourage registration for vaccination over ‘walk-in’ mode, to facilitate the entire process by making it more convenient for the citizens, as well as giving authorities a forward view of expected demand to plan accordingly and avoid over-crowding.
The Union Health Secretary apprised the meeting on India achieving the landmark of administering more than 20 lakh doses in a single day. The country is approaching 2.5 crore total vaccination coverage, powered by the fastest recent growth in vaccination globally, the health ministry said in the statement.
The Principal Secretary to the PM commended all officials across the central and state governments for their critical role in the till now successful roll-out of the world’s largest vaccination drive, the statement said.
“He also reinforced the need to continue this momentum in a sustained manner,” it said.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba advised the states to ramp up the speed of vaccination to cover as many eligible people as possible in as short a duration as possible, especially given the large population to be covered, the statement stated.
“States were asked to prepare a detailed roadmap for the next three months for achieving the same,” it said.
Chief secretaries/senior officials of states and UTs briefed about the progress of vaccination in their respective jurisdictions, giving valuable feedback and suggestions.
The aspects which were reviewed during the meeting included expanding capacity-on-boarding and operationalising as many health facilities as possible as vaccination centres across the public and private sectors and ensuring equitable and easy access to all throughout the nation, especially identifying existing geographical dark-zones through geo-spatial analysis.
The aspect of maximising efficiency, keeping as many vaccination centres operational daily as possible, enhancing capacity utilisation in these centres, and minimizing wastage in the same was discussed.
Ensuring convenient registration for citizens by maximizing available slots on Co-WIN with all vaccination centres publishing sessions for up to four weeks ahead was also advised.
The discussion also focused on optimizing centre-level planning with appropriate provisions made for crowd management, drinking water and other conveniences for citizens and ensuring real-time authentication and certification as much as possible for convenience of the citizen as well as a check against misuse.
States and UTs were also advised to optimise the supply chain down to the vaccination centre through efficient and equitable distribution while preventing any stock-piling or hoarding, with the assurance of there being no shortage of vaccine doses in the future, according to the statement.
They were asked to review progress in the vaccination drive on a real-time, disaggregated basis down to the district and block levels, leveraging the end-to-end data integration of the Co-WIN platform, for continuous and customized management.
State-wise data and analysis on all the above parameters was discussed in detail, and all encouraged to share and learn from each other’s experiences and best practices, the statement said.

It was reiterated that there is no shortage of vaccine doses in any state and UT.
“States and UTs were particularly urged to leverage the private sector to the maximum to enhance coverage, taking advantage of the liberal enabling guidelines issued by the Centre; registering and activating as many private facilities as possible,providing sufficient stock of vaccines necessary for these centres to work at their optimum and providing any other facilitation required,” the statement said.
“Principal Secretary to PM concluded by asking all the senior officials to work through a scientific, evidence-based, micro-planned, area-specific approach to ensure convenient and safe vaccination for all, in a rapid yet sustained manner,” the statement stated. (PTI)