Govt to enlist private hospitals to make Covid-19 vaccine available 24/7
04 March 2021
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday announced that citizens will now be able to take vaccine round the clock as per their convenience, a day after the centre asked states and union territories to utilise capacities available with private hospitals functioning as coronavirus vaccination centres in order to speed up coronavirus vaccination drive.
"The government has ended the time constraint to increase the speed of vaccination. Citizens of the country can now get vaccinated 24x7 at their convenience," the minister said in a tweet on the microblogging website Twitter.
The union ministry of health and family welfare said private hospitals which are not under empanneled under AB-PMJAY, Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and State Insurance Schemes can also be utilised as coronavirus vaccination centres (CVCs).
"Private hospitals not empanelled under the above-mentioned three categories have also been permitted to operate as CVCs if they have adequate number of vaccinators, adequate space for observation of the vaccinated, adequate cold chain arrangement and adequate arrangement for management of Adverse Events Following Immunisation(AEFI)," the statement issued by the health ministry said.
The nation-wide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers being inoculated against the virus. Vaccination of the frontline workers began on February 2.
The announcement follows the roll-out of the second phase of vaccination on 1 March for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
The government said that the decision to allow all private hospitals to carry out vaccination drive was taken after a detailed presentation on the status of vaccination in various states/UTs.
The central government said it has adequate stock of Covid-19 vaccines and will provide the required vaccine doses to the states and UTs.
The centre, however, wanted to ensure that all such private vaccination centres follow proper crowd management protocols and that all guidelines of the health ministry are followed while carrying out the inoculation drive.
"States/UTs in consultation with the private hospitals should open the vaccination slots for 15 days to a month and announce this as part of their Vaccine Time Table," the centre said.
The Co-WIN2.0 portal can be scaled up to accommodate all potential and eligible citizen beneficiaries. This portal should be put to effective use as the backbone of the vaccination programme, the government further said.
As per the latest data of the union health ministry, a total of 1,54,61,864 vaccine doses have been administered till 7 pm on 2 March 2021.