Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary reviewed the status and progress of COVID vaccination with Health Secretaries and NHM MDs of States and UTs, through video conference (VC) today. One of the largest such exercise globally, the countrywide COVID19 vaccination programme was launched three weeks back on 16th January 2021 by Hon. Prime Minister.
At the outset, the Union Health Secretary appreciated the creditworthy performance of all States and UTs on COVID19 vaccination. Elaborating on the global landmarks crossed by India, he underlined that India is the fastest country to reach the 5 million mark in COVID19 vaccination in just 21 days. Several other countries which have had a head start, some as much as 60 days, have taken a longer time to reach this target.
Union Health Secretary urged the States and UTs to exponentially increase the pace of vaccination. States/UTs asked to improve the momentum and accelerate the coverage as the country moves forward with the COVID vaccination drive.
It was pointed that there remains a substantial scope for improvement in the number of average vaccinations per vaccination session. The State Health Secretaries were asked to analyze the daily variation in the number of average vaccinations and take necessary steps to increase them. States/UTs were advised to ensure 100% saturation of people who have already been registered on CoWin digital platform. They were also asked to organize simultaneous vaccination sessions/day in the health facility wherever possible. Each State/UT was advised to devise a state specific strategy to achieve this target.
While there are 12 States/UTs that have achieved 60% or more vaccination coverage of healthcare workers, they were all advised to improve the percentage coverage of vaccinated beneficiaries as there are many States and UTs that need to improve their performance on this parameter. States/ UTs were advised to ensure regular review meetings of the State, District and Block Task Force to assess the emerging challenges, understand the ground issues and promptly address them at the appropriate levels.
Every State/UT must schedule all healthcare workers for vaccination at least once before 20th Feb 2021 and immediately thereafter organize mop-up rounds for them. Similarly, all frontline workers must be scheduled for vaccination at least once before 6th March 2021 and immediately thereafter organize mop-up rounds for them. The failure of potential beneficiaries to get vaccinated in the mop-up round would automatically push them to age-appropriate vaccination category. The second dose of the vaccine is also scheduled to start from 13th February 2021 for people who were vaccinated on 16th Jan 2021.
The Health Secretary reiterated the need for adequate attention to issuance of provisional digital vaccination certificate after the first dose and final certificate after completing the second dose is required to be issued; the importance of authentication of beneficiaries and also timely data reconciliation on the CoWIN app.
He further stated that CoWIN 2.0 version will also be released soon.
The feedback from the States and UTs were analyzed and appropriate advice provided during the review meeting.