States have been informed in advance about the COVID vaccines being provided through the central government channel

Reviewing the progress of Covid-19 vaccination with states and Union Territories(UTs), the central government on Tuesday asked them to prioritize the second dose for beneficiaries who had already taken their first shot.

It was suggested that states and UTs can set aside 70 per cent of the vaccine doses they receive through the central government for the second dose.

The urgent need to address a large number of beneficiaries waiting for the 2nd dose was stressed during the review meet, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, and Chairman of Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management R S Sharma reviewed the status of Covid vaccination with Health Secretaries and NHM MDs of states and UTs, through a video conference.

After a detailed presentation highlighting various aspects of the vaccination drive with state specific data, Bhushan highlighted that states were to ensure all beneficiaries who have taken the first dose are prioritised for the second doses.

"In this regard, states can reserve at least 70% of the vaccines supplied to them from the Government of India channel (free of cost) for second dose vaccination and remaining 30% for first dose. This however is indicative. States have the liberty to enhance this to as much as 100%. State wise numbers on CoWIN have been shared with states for their planning purposes,” said the health ministry in a statement.

“States have been informed in a transparent manner in advance about the COVID vaccines being provided to them from the Govt of India channel. The visibility for the forthcoming fortnight is conveyed to them in advance to enable better and more effective planning by them. The next allocation for the period 15-31th May will be conveyed to them on 14th May. It was pointed out that states can utilize the information regarding dose allocation for the next 15 days to plan their vaccination sessions," it added.

During the meeting, states were also urged to minimize vaccine wastage. All wastage more than the national average hereafter is to be adjusted from the subsequent allocations to that state/UT, said Centre.

States were also briefed about procurement from the ‘Other than Government of India’ (OGoI) channel, which has been opened in the liberalised Phase-III strategy of vaccination. In view of the payments pending from states to the private vaccine manufacturers, the states were advised to constitute a dedicated team at state level of 2 or 3 senior officers to coordinate with vaccine manufacturers on a daily basis and secure state government supplies promptly.

"The CoWIN platform is also being modified to better reflect the changing needs of the vaccination exercise. The States can download a Second Dose Due Report to better plan the completion of vaccination of the target groups. Beneficiaries without relevant photo ID cards like senior citizens at old-age homes, etc., can also be registered," said the Central government.

Sharma said that CoWIN will shortly provide the flexibility and feature for reserving slots for 2nd dose.

Reiterating the critical importance of verity and authenticity of data, he also urged states to avoid use of restrictive criteria to uphold the mantra of CoWIN providing vaccination to anyone, anywhere and at any time.