New Delhi: Pvt hospitals that are not impaneled under any central or state government health plan can now also act as COVID Vaccination Centre (CVCs) subject to them mandatorily adhering to some specific norms. The decision was taken in a discussion meeting of the union health ministry with states on Tuesday.
With the decision, all private hospitals have been authorized to operate as CVCs if they have enough vaccinators, adequate space for observation of the vaccinated, adequate cold chain arrangement, and adequate arrangement for the administration of adverse event following immunization (AEFI). The centre asked States/UTs to proactively make attempts to use these private hospitals as CVCs.
So far, Pvt Hospitals only impaneled under Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PM JAY) and comparable State Health Insurance Schemes could only perform as CVCs.
The union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan along with Ram S Sharma, Chairman of Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration (Co-WIN) and member, National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of covid-19 (NEGVAC) chaired a high-level analysis meeting on Tuesday with additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries (health) of States and UTs by a video conference. They analyzed the status and movement of the next phase of the country-wide COVID vaccination program which started on 1st March 2021.
The centre asked states to assure enough allocation of vaccines to all hospitals (government and private) for the whole duration for which sessions have been planned, to allow them to function as CVCs in a smooth and obstruction-free manner. It was reemphasized that there is no shortage of COVID vaccines, hence enough vaccine doses should be allocated to the CVCs. States/UTs should not store, reserve, conserve or create a buffer stock of the COVID vaccines at the State and district levels.
“The Central Government has enough stock and will provide the essential vaccine doses to the States and UTs. All Private Vaccination Centres should have in place adequate crowd management protocols along with facilities for seating, water, proper signage, etc. They should also assure adherence to Covid-appropriate behavior among the citizen recipients. State and District management would proactively facilitate this,” the union health ministry said in a statement.
The central government said that States/UTs in a conference with the Pvt Hospitals should open the vaccination slots for 15 days to a month and declare this as part of their Vaccine Time Table. “The Co-WIN2.0 opening can be scaled up to accommodate all inherent and eligible citizen beneficiaries. This portal should be put to efficient use as the backbone of the vaccination program,” the union health ministry said.
Meanwhile, Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday got his first dose of the covid-19 vaccine at Delhi Heart and Lung Institute, New Delhi. “I and my wife took our first dose of Covaxin vaccine today. I request to all above 60 years and people between 45 years and 59 years with co-morbidities. We took this vaccine by paying Rs. 250/each at the hospital. People who can afford this vaccine, please get it from your nearest private hospital,” said Harsh Vardhan who confirmed that there were some glitches in the Co-WIN platform due to a high number of registrants all of a sudden. India has so far managed more than 1.5 crore vaccine doses.
As the country continues vaccination of people to control a covid-19 pandemic, some states in the country continue to record a high number of cases. At least 12,286 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours with 80.33% of the new cases from 5 States. Maharashtra resumes reporting the highest daily new cases at 6,397. It is followed by Kerala with 1,938 while Punjab reported 633 new cases.
“The country’s present active cases now consists of 1.51% of total positive cases. Although certain states in the country are witnessing a surge in the number of active cases the fact outlasts that the recovered cases are more than 97% and active cases are still less than 2 %,” said Bhushan