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Private sector to have bigger role in next phase of Covid vaccinations

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 17, 2021

Health Ministry plans to increase immunisation sessions four to five times

Piqued by the tardy pace of Covid vaccination in the country currently, the government has decided to increase the involvement of private sector hospitals in administering Covid jabs.

“There is a plan to increase the number of Covid-19 vaccination sites manifold. Currently 10,000-11,000 immunisation sessions are being conducted. It is planned to scale this four to five times of that when the next phase is started,” the Health Ministry said on Wednesday following a review meeting chaired by PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Long road ahead

At present, about 2,000 private hospitals are involved in administering Covid-19 vaccination. This number is expected to go up substantially as the government plans to ramp up the vaccination drive further. So far, a total of around 1.5 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers have registered for Covid-19 vaccination. Considering that each has to receive two doses of the vaccine, the target achieved so far has been only 25 per cent even though 33 days have passed.

In addition to this, the States and Union Territories have to vaccinate an additional 27 crore people over the next few months when they extend the vaccination to people above the age of 50 as well as to people with co-morbidities. This round of vaccination is expected to commence in two to three weeks, the meeting was told.

According to a Health Ministry statement, the total vaccinations carried out till 6 pm on Wednesday was 91.87 lakh.

The meeting convened by the Principal Secretary in the PMO was specifically called for accelerating the pace of the vaccination in the country. It was attended by the Cabinet Secretary, the Health Secretary, the Pharmaceuticals Secretary and the CEO of the National Health Authority among others.

The government claimed that necessary systems are being put in place. This includes preparing the CoWIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work) platform to handle huge demand, making it possible for people to self-register, as well as deciding on what all databases can be tapped to feed the details of beneficiaries on to the platform.

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Published on February 17, 2021
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