South Asian Insider
Keep room for 10% wastage, don't rush: Centre's advice to states on vaccination
Ahead of the major vaccination drive beginning on January 16, the Centre has asked states to abide by these three rules. (News Agencies)- As the preparation for the "world's largest vaccination drive", scheduled to begin from January 16, is going on full throttle, the Union health ministry has warned the state governments of some pitfalls that may take place in the initial days. It has been decided that there will be a maximum of 100 beneficiaries at each vaccination session across the country. The ministry has advised the states to not organise "unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day". The emergency vaccination for healthcare workers has been much awaited as several countries started vaccination last year December.The Centre has also urged the states to take into account 10 per cent wastage of doses, which is a general possibility.After the Drug Controller General of India on January 3 gave restricted, emergency-use authorisation to two vaccines, preparations were on to officially procure them to kick off the vaccination drive.The Centre procured 1.65 crore vaccine doses including 1.1 crores of Serum Institute's Covishield and 55 lakh of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. The doses have been dispatched to all states.Some states have raised complaints that the number of doses they have received will not be adequate to cover all their healthcare workers, but the ministry has said that the procurement was done according to the database provided by the state governments. Also, this is the initial supply of vaccine doses which will be replenished in the weeks to come, the ministry has said.Instead of trying to accommodate more people than recommended per session, the state governments should gradually increase the number of vaccination sites "in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilises and moves forward".Based on which vaccines are being administered, sites will be identified as Covaxin (Bharat Biotech) and Covishield (Serum Institute) sites as beneficiaries will have to be inoculated again after 28 days. Amid a raging debate of healthcare workers not being able to choose between Covaxin and Covishield, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan earlier said no country has given this option to those who are being inoculated.
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