Covid vaccination: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Wednesday chaired high-level meet with Health Secretaries and senior immunization officials of UP, MP, Rajasthan, Odisha, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana to review the status and procurement of Covid vaccines.
Representatives from Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India were also present. In light of the revised guidelines for universalisation of Covid vaccination program and recent advisories, progress of vaccine procurement and administration by private Covid vaccination centers in these states/UTs reviewed.
The Union Health Secretary termed the slow pace of vaccination through the Private COVID Vaccination Centers (PCVCs) as a cause of serious worry. He highlighted the areas of concern and gave four suggestions.
- Many Private COVID Vaccination Centers (PCVCs) have not placed any indent for the earmarked quantum of vaccines. Many state governments need to facilitate the vaccine procurement by the PCVC. States were advised to review the status on a daily basis and ensure that indents for the earmarked quantum are quickly placed with the private vaccine manufacturers.
- In many cases while the indent for the vaccine has been placed with the state government, payment has not been made for the entire amount of indented vaccines. In some cases, no payment has been made for the entire indented quantity. State governments and the PCVCs were advised to ensure that the gap between the indented quantity and payment towards their procurement reduced to zero.
- In some states, the quantity of vaccines paid for has not been physically lifted by the states/PCVCs. The states/PCVCs have to quickly ensure lifting of dispatched doses.
- In some states, wherever vaccine doses have been lifted by PCVCs, the actual administration of vaccines is seen to be less than the vaccine quantity lifted. States and PCVCs were advised to review this and ensure that the balance of unutilized vaccine doses are quickly administered.
Highlighting the slow pace of vaccination through the private centers, the Centre advised the states to review status and progress on vaccine procurement by private cen on a daily basis.
They were also advised to ensure speedy and effective coordination between the PCVCs and the vaccine manufactures to remove bottlenecks, if any. It was pointed out that advance visibility of the vaccines to the States by Union Health Ministry is in turn required to be communicated to the citizens by States.
The Centre has organized five regional workshops to orient nodal officers of the states and private centers for placing indent on Co-Win, payment for the quantum of doses. States have also been advised to indicate if any further refresher training sessions are required.
These shall be organized based on requirement of the States. During the review meeting, roles of the States/UTs for demand aggregation and roles of the Covid Vaccine manufacturers in quick dispatch were further outlined.
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