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Don’t create buffer stock of COVID-19 vaccines: Health Ministry

A medical staff seen holding a vaccine dose for vaccinating, in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Health Ministry urged States/UTs to utilise 100% capacities of private hospitals functioning as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) and said private hospitals not under the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and the State Insurance Schemes can also be utilised as CVCs.

“There is no shortage of vaccines, adequate vaccine doses to be allocated to all hospitals functioning as CVCs,’’ said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday.

The Ministry said senior Central government health officials held a video conference with officials of States/UTs to review the status and pace of the next phase of the country-wide vaccination programme which commenced on Monday.

“States/UTs have been told to ensure that adequate allocation of vaccines is done to all hospitals [government and private] for the entire duration for which sessions have been planned,’’ said the release.

It said States/UTs should not store, reserve, conserve or create a buffer stock at the State and district levels.

The Central government has also instructed that private vaccination centres should have in place effective crowd management protocols along with facilities for seating, water, proper signage etc. They should also ensure adherence of COVID-appropriate behaviour among the beneficiaries. The State and the district administration would proactively facilitate this.

Besides this, Sates/UTs in consultation with the private hospitals should open the vaccination slots for 15 days to a month and announce this as part of their time table.

“The Co-WIN2.0 portal can be scaled up to accommodate all potential and eligible citizen beneficiaries. This portal should be put to effective use as the backbone of the vaccination programme.’’

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 11:06:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dont-create-buffer-stock-of-covid-19-vaccines-health-ministry/article33973522.ece

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