National

Centre to allow COVID-19 vaccination at workplace

The Central government has decided to allow COVID-19 vaccination sessions at workplaces with about 100 eligible/willing beneficiaries. “States/UTs have been asked to prepare for the launch by April 11,” a Health Ministry official told The Hindu, adding that the move was aimed at making the vaccine accessible, quality-focused and citizen-centric.

“Only employees of a workplace aged 45 years and more will be eligible for vaccination at the workplace. No outsider, including eligible family members, will be allowed for vaccination at the COVID-19 vaccination centre at the workplace,” he said.

While there is no change in the eligibility criteria — the COVID-19 vaccine is offered to willing beneficiaries who are 45 years old and above — this is the first time that a vaccine is being offered outside a hospital setting.

“COVID-19 vaccination was extended to all citizens aged 45 years and above from April 1 and a substantial proportion of this population is in the organised sector of the economy, involved in formal occupation in offices (government and private), or manufacturing and services, etc. The move then is aimed at making the vaccine more accessible. We are also looking at making it more citizen centric and have asked States/UTs to initiate consultation with private/public sector employers/management to prepare for work place vaccination,” said a communication from Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

The Central Government has said that vaccination sessions may be organised at workplaces by tagging these places with an existing COVID-19 vaccination centres (CVCs). The Health Ministry has also prepared guidelines to support States/UTs to help organise these sessions.

The sessions will still require beneficiaries to register on the Co-WIN portal prior to vaccination, and the workplace management will designate one of its senior staff members to be the nodal officer for coordinating with district health authorities/private COVID-19 vaccination centres and support vaccination activities.

“The schedule of vaccination session can be made up 15 days in advance and intimated to the work place so that maximum attendance is ensured on the day of the vaccination. In most of the work places vaccination schedule may, however, be completed in less than 15 days,” said the guidelines.

The guidelines added that one fully trained vaccination team shall be assigned to vaccinate 100 beneficiaries at the workplace. Private CVCs will deploy the vaccination team at private workplaces.

“The work place CVCs staff engaged in COVID-19 vaccination will follow existing SOPs for vaccination and reporting adverse events following vaccination,” the guideline said.

Additionally, the COVID-19 vaccination centre’s nodal officer will ensure registration of all targeted beneficiaries. Facility for on-the-spot-registration will also be available, but only to employees of the workplace. The name of the workplace COVID-19 vaccination centre will be recorded in the Co-WIN platform as a full name and not as an abbreviation to have clarity, noted the guidelines.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 8:37:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-to-allow-covid-19-vaccination-at-workplace/article34264293.ece

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