Centre Asks States To Increase Coverage Of Covid Vaccine Beneficiaries

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a meeting with state health secretaries and officials through video conferencing today reviewed the status of the COVID-19 vaccination drive and asked them to begin vaccination of frontline workers from February.

Centre Asks States To Increase Coverage Of Covid Vaccine Beneficiaries

The health ministry said officials must ensure smooth implementation of next phase of vaccination. (File)

New Delhi:

The health ministry has asked states and Union Territories to increase percentage coverage of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccines and increase and optimise vaccination sessions per day.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a meeting with state health secretaries and officials through video conferencing today reviewed the status of the vaccination drive and asked them to begin vaccination of frontline workers from the first week of February.

The COVID-19 vaccination programme was launched across the country on January 16 with healthcare workers first in line to receive the shots. Over 37 lakh beneficiaries have been vaccinated till now.

There is a huge scope for improvement in the number of average vaccinations per session, Mr Bhushan said and asked the officials to analyse the daily variation in the number of average vaccination and take necessary steps to increase them.

He said states should organise multiple simultaneous vaccination sessions per day wherever possible.

District immunisation officers should interact with the nodal officer at the session sites on a regular basis to evaluate the scope of expansion, the health secretary said.

The health secretary also pointed out that the vaccine is available in sufficient quantity and technical glitches in the government's CoWIN mobile app have now been resolved.

He said those administering the vaccine should be sensitised to do proper authentication of beneficiaries and compliance should be strictly monitored at the district and state level in their task force meetings.

Mr Bhushan said officials should start planning and ensure smooth implementation of the next phase of vaccination beginning in February.

Of the total 37,06,157 beneficiaries vaccinated in India till now, the highest number of 4,63,793 people were vaccinated in Uttar Pradesh, followed by 3,26,745 in Rajasthan, 3,15,343 in Karnataka and 2,61,320 in Maharashtra, according to the health ministry.