COVID-19 | Accelerate coverage of precautionary dose, says Health Minister

States were also advised to expeditiously utilise Centre-sanctioned funds

August 16, 2022 06:14 pm | Updated August 17, 2022 09:34 am IST - NEW DELHI

A health worker administers COVID-19 vaccine in Vellore. Photo used for representation purpose only.

A health worker administers COVID-19 vaccine in Vellore. Photo used for representation purpose only. | Photo Credit: C. venkatachalapathy

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, on Tuesday, urged States and Union Territories to accelerate coverage of precaution dose for COVID-19 among population aged 18 years and above, while advising that availability of heterologous precaution dose of Corbevax vaccine be widely publicised.

“Vaccination camps should be organised at public places like bus stands, railway stations, airports, schools/colleges, religious yatra routes, religious places etc., to increase the uptake of precaution dose among the eligible beneficiaries,” said the Minister.

States have been advised to ensure that all vaccine doses are utilised on the basis of First Expiry First Out principle to avoid expiry of the vaccines.

Also Read | Explained | Why India administers ‘precaution dose’ of COVID-19 vaccine, and not ‘booster dose’

“Let us speedily cover all eligible beneficiaries for health services under PMJAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana) by ensuring that remaining beneficiaries are provided PMJAY cards by organising special camps”, Dr. Mandaviya urged the States as he reviewed the progress of PMJAY.

Prime Minister Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) is one of the largest pan-India schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure.

Central funds

Expressing concern regarding the lower utilisation of Central funds in some States, the Minister noted that “instead of the Centre reviewing the low funds utilisation, the States ought to enhance their performance and expeditiously seek funds from the Centre for speedy implementation of health schemes”.

He added that various flexibilities have been extended to States for timely utilisation of the funds and creation of health infrastructure under the packages/flagship programmes.

Mr. Mandaviya invited the State Health Ministers to share the challenges they face while working towards this goal and sought their suggestions for further facilitating funds utilisation.

The Minister also reviewed the implementation of flagship schemes, including National Health Mission (NHM), various projects under Emergency COVID Response Package (ECRP)-II, Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), 15thFinance Commission (XV FC) grants.

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