Prioritise vaccinating those due for second dose of COVID-19 vaccine: Centre to states

States were urged to "ensure all beneficiaries who have taken the first dose are prioritised for the second doses," the Union health ministry said.
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The Centre appealed to states on Tuesday to prioritise vaccinating those due for the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine and reserve at least 70 percent of the shots supplied from the central pool for the purpose.

States have also been urged to minimise wastage of vaccine doses, the health ministry said in a statement.

All wastage more than the national average hereafter is to be adjusted from the subsequent allocations to that state or union territory.

The urgent need to address a large number of beneficiaries waiting for the second dose of vaccine was stressed in a meeting held by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Dr R S Sharma, Chairman of Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to Combat COVID-19, with state officials to review the status of COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday.

States were urged to "ensure all beneficiaries who have taken the first dose are prioritised for the second doses", the ministry said.

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In this regard, states can reserve at least 70 percent of the vaccines supplied to them from the Government of India channel for second dose vaccination and the remaining 30 percent for the first dose.

"This, however, is indicative. States have the liberty to enhance this to as much as 100 percent. State-wise numbers on CoWIN have been shared with states for their planning purposes," it read.

"The states were asked to undertake awareness campaign for reinforcing the importance of complete vaccination with two doses of the vaccine," it added.

Presenting details of states who have ensured high coverage of priority groups (like population aged 45+, frontline workers, and healthcare workers) and others, the health secretary urged states to ensure that priority groups are vaccinated.

States have been informed transparently in advance about the COVID vaccines being provided to them from the Government of India channel. The visibility for the forthcoming fortnight is conveyed to them in advance to enable better and more effective planning by them.

The next allocation for the period May 15-31 will be conveyed to them on May 14. It was pointed out that states can utilise the information regarding dose allocation for the next 15 days to plan their vaccination sessions.

It was suggested to states and UTs to retrain and reorient vaccinators to ensure judicious usage of the vaccines.

It was also pointed out that certain states can report a negative wastage because the well-trained health workers can extract maximum doses per vial than what is otherwise generally earmarked.

States were also briefed about procurement from the 'Other than Government of India' channel, which has been opened in the Liberalised Phase-III Strategy of Vaccination.

In view of the payments pending from states to the private vaccine manufacturers, the states were advised to constitute a dedicated team at the state level of two or three senior officers to coordinate with vaccine manufacturers daily and secure state government supplies promptly.

This team will also coordinate with private hospitals to facilitate their procurement, thereby maintaining the momentum of the overall vaccination exercise in the state.

The CoWIN platform is also being modified to better reflect the changing needs of the vaccination exercise.

States can download a second dose due report to better plan the completion of vaccination of the target groups.

The District Immunisation Officer and COVID Vaccination Centre Manager can increase the session capacity according to demands, and can also visualise the target group in their upcoming sessions. Beneficiaries without relevant photo ID cards like senior citizens at old-age homes, etc., can also be registered, the ministry said.

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