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Less than 30% health workers vaccinated in Delhi, 10 other states & UTs, govt orders review

Health ministry order dated 5 February notes nodal officers will design action plan to boost Covid vaccination coverage.

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government will hand-hold states that have covered less than one third of their Covid-19 vaccination targets in the ongoing national immunisation programme, ThePrint has learnt.

Eleven states and union territories — Assam, Chandigarh, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Delhi, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry — have inoculated less than 30 per cent of registered healthcare workers so far, according to an order issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, dated 5 February. ThePrint has accessed the document.

The order, titled ‘Physical monitoring visits to States/UTs by Central Nodal Officers for providing support to ongoing COVID-19 vaccination’, said the central nodal officers of these states and UTs “are directed to undertake visits to their assigned states, UTs to review the COVID-19 vaccination activities, including implementation of Co-WIN IT platform, in the respective states, UTs”.

The Centre advised officials to discuss the progress on vaccination targets with state officials, including the principal secretary and additional chief secretary of the health department.

According to the order, signed by Vandana Gurnani, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM), “more than 50 lakh Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Front Line Workers (FLWs) have been vaccinated with the first dose” since the launch of the drive on 16 January this year.

The officers will work on an action plan to boost the coverage of the vaccination drive and also visit a few session sites to observe session management, reporting of adverse events management and review the usage of Co-WIN, the mobile-based application where all data and details regarding the immunisation process is being uploaded.

Also read: When will Covid end? In 7 years at today’s vaccination rates

8 areas in focus for review

The order mentions eight broad areas for nodal officers, who already underwent an orientation session on 11 January, to review. The first area for review is to work on an “action plan to improve overall coverage of beneficiaries (HCWs & FLWs) and coverage per vaccination session”.

The officers will also review the “steering committee and task force meetings held after 16th January 2021”.

They will check if the “optimum utilization of session capacities (Planned Vs Covered beneficiaries)” is being made.

They will also check if the protocols of uploading details on the Co-WIN platform are being followed. Also, they will review if “scheduling of sessions using Co-WIN, beneficiary authentication by Aadhaar, issuance of COVID-19 vaccination certificates immediately at the session sites” is being done.

Moreover, the officers will review the “training status at all levels and need for refresher training and communication, media and advocacy plans and implementation of the same”.

The duty also consists of checking if “Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) management and timely categorization of AEFI into minor, severe & serious” is being done correctly.

Also read: Why India’s expert panel rejected Pfizer plea for emergency use nod to its Covid vaccine


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