The state and Union territory administrations have been provided with a comprehensive action plan for vaccination of adults

The Union government on Saturday issued guidelines for effective implementation of the new vaccination strategy from May 1, wherein all citizens above the age of 18 years would be eligible for jabs against Covid-19.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management Chairman R S Sharma chaired a high-level meeting to guide the states and UTs on effective implementation of the third phase of the vaccination programme and to review their augmentation plans to strengthen the existing hospital and clinical treatment infrastructure for COVID patients.

Sharma said the COWIN platform has now stabilized and is working flawlessly. It is equipped to handle the complexities of the new phase of the inoculation drive starting from May 1. He said it was important to upload correct and timely data by States/UTs as any incorrect data would compromise the integrity of the entire system.

States specifically advised to:

Register additional private COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) in mission mode by engaging with private hospitals, hospitals of industrial establishments, industry associations, coordinating with designated appropriate authority, mechanism for applications/requests and their processing and monitoring of pendency of registration.

Monitor the number of hospitals that have procured vaccines and have declared stocks and prices on COWIN.

Schedule vaccination for eligible population for providing adequate visibility of vaccination slots on COWIN.

Prioritize decisions regarding direct procurement of vaccines by the State/UT Government.

Publicize about the facility of ‘only online registration’ for age groups 18-45 year.

Train CVC staff about Vaccination, AEFI reporting and management, Use of COWIN – Training schedule and Reconciliation of vaccine stocks have been already provided to private CVCs.

Coordinate with law-and-order authorities for effective crowd management at CVCs.

Regarding infrastructure augmentation for effective clinical treatment of the hospitalized COVID patients, States were advised to review their existing hospital and other COVID treatment infrastructure in light of the daily new case, daily fatality and those that would require hospitalization.

To prepare and implement a comprehensive plan for augmentation, States were advised to:

Identify additional dedicated Covid-19 hospitals and prepare field hospital facilities either through DRDO, CSIR or similar agencies in the public and private sector.

Ensure adequacy in terms of oxygen supported beds, ICU beds and oxygen supplies. Setting up centralized call center-based services for allocation of beds.

Deploy of requisite human resources with proper training & mentoring of doctors and nurses for management of patients and strengthening ambulance services.

Establish sufficient referral linkages for districts with deficit infrastructure through deployment of additional ambulances.

Set up of centralized call center-based services for allocation of beds.