No shortage of Vaccines with States; Centre will continually replenish States’ Supplies
There is no shortage of vaccines with States and the Centre will continually replenish states’ supplies, two senior government officials assured the states in a review meeting today.
RS Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA) and Chairperson, Empowered Group on COVID Vaccination assured that there is no problem in the storage and logistics of vaccines. He re-emphasized the point that there is no value in conserving vaccines for the second dose and that States must promptly supply vaccines to all government and private hospitals where there is a demand.
Sharma and Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary chaired a high-level meeting through video conference today with Health Secretaries, State Mission Directors of NHM and State Immunization officers of all States and UTs to review the status, pace and issues regarding COVID vaccination across the country as well as the preparations for April 2021 when vaccination would be extended to all persons above the age of 45. A key theme underlying the meet was the identification of low vaccine coverage pockets particularly in districts showing COVID surge and for taking corrective actions there.
The Centre’s top officials advised the states to ensure that only eligible beneficiaries are registered and vaccinated under category of Healthcare Worker (HCW) and Frontline Workers (FLW). According to them, identify pockets of low vaccination coverage – health facility/professional association/blocks, districts etc., for taking corrective action is critical.
Regarding the involvement of Private COVID Vaccination Centres (CVC)s, the States/UTs were asked to conduct regular reviews of vaccinations at Private CVCs with respect to their capacity utilization and undertake GIS analysis of CVCs to identify need for additional CVCs within States/UTs.
There is no sedimentation of vaccine stocks at any level of storage, Bhushan said, adding that distribution based on consumption should be done to avoid overstocking as well as under-stocking at Cold Chain Points and CVCs.
The Centre also advised the States and UTs for the following:
• Maintain vaccine wastage at less than 1% (present National Wastage Percentage being 6%)
• Regularly review vaccine wastage across all levels to minimize the same
• Ensure timely utilization of available stocks to avoid expiry of vaccines without usage
• Timely updating of data of vaccine consumption to be ensured on CoWIN & eVIN portals