New Delhi: The Central government on Wednesday said there is no shortage of coronavirus vaccines with states and union territories and that it will continually replenish the supplies.
So far, 6.30 crore doses of corona vaccine have been administered in the country since the drive began on January 16 after approval for ‘Covishield’ and ‘Covaxin’.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting with the states and UTs to review the status, pace and issues regarding Covid vaccination across the country as well as the preparations for April 1 when vaccination would be extended to all persons above the age of 45.
Dr. R.S. Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA) and Chairperson, Empowered Group on Covid Vaccination was also part of the meeting with Health Secretaries, State Mission Directors of NHM and State Immunization officers of all states and UTs.
The key theme underlying the meet was the identification of low vaccine coverage pockets particularly in districts showing Covid surge and for taking corrective actions there.
The states and UTs were asked to ensure that only eligible beneficiaries are registered and vaccinated under the category of healthcare workers and frontline workers.
They have been asking to archive incorrect or duplicate entries on the CoWIN platform, identify pockets of low vaccination coverage and ensure saturation of vaccination of these groups on priority.
Regarding the involvement of Private Covid Vaccination Centres (CVC)s, the states and UTs were asked to conduct regular reviews of vaccinations at private CVCs with respect to their capacity utilization.
“Undertake GIS analysis of CVCs to identify the need for additional CVCs within states/UTs. Address apprehensions of private CVCs regarding vaccine supply, guidelines, etc. proactively,” stated were asked.
On the issue of Vaccine Stocks, the states and UTs were advised to ensure that there is no sedimentation of vaccine stocks at any level of storage.
Distribution based on consumption to avoid overstocking as well as under-stocking at Cold Chain Points and CVCs have been asked to be ensured.
They have been asked to conduct regular review of vaccine stocks and consumption is undertaken to identify gap areas and address the same.
The Centre also advised the states and UTs for maintaining the vaccine wastage at less than 1 per cent as the present National Wastage Percentage being 6 per cent.
The states and UTs have been asked to regularly review vaccine wastage across all levels to minimise the same, ensure timely utilization of available stocks to avoid expiry of vaccines without usage.
Dr. R.S. Sharma assured that there is no problem in the storage and logistics of vaccines. He re-emphasized the point that there is no value in conserving vaccines for the second dose and that the states must promptly supply vaccines to all government and private hospitals where there is a demand.