Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 7
To boost the ongoing inoculation drive that continues to battle hesitancy and wastage issues, the government is all set to launch workplace Covid vaccinations from April 11.
The decision has been taken as the national daily cases touched a new and alarming peak of 1,15,736 — the highest since the first case was reported on January 30, 2020, — and active infections that require medical intervention rose to 8,43,473.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan communicated the decision to the additional chief secretaries and principal secretaries of health in all states today, saying: “To increase access of vaccine to people aged 45 years and above, Covid-19 vaccination sessions may be organised at workplaces (both government and private), which have 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries by tagging these workplaces with an existing Covid vaccination centre.”
The government’s rationale behind the decision is that a substantial proportion of people aged 45-59 years and in some cases up to 65 years are in the organised sector and involved in formal occupations in government and private offices, manufacturing and service sector.
The vaccination of those above 45 years started on April 1 but the pace of coverage remains low. Though 30 crore priority group people were identified for inoculation in the first two phases of the drive (January 16-March 31), only 8,70,77,474 (29 per cent) doses have been administered as of Wednesday morning.
The workplace will designate a nodal officer to coordinate with the district health authorities.
How it will work
- District magistrate, municipal commissioner will identify potential workplaces that can host vaccination centres. Each such workplace must have at least 100 eligible beneficiaries, three rooms (waiting, vaccination, observation)
- The workplace vaccination centre will be registered on CoWIN and tagged electronically to existing vaccine centre
- The workplace will appoint a nodal officer to register beneficiaries. Once 50 beneficiaries are registered, a vaccination session will be planned
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