The Centre has allowed all private hospitals to give COVID-19 vaccine if they adhere to the coronavirus-related safety norms. Also, it has asked states and union territories to utilise the optimum capacity of private medical facilities empanelled under three categories -- Ayushman Bharat, the Central Government Health Scheme, and the state health insurance schemes.
According to the union health ministry, all private vaccination centres should have effective crowd management protocols in place, along with facilities for seating, water, proper signage, etc. They should also ensure adherence to a COVID-appropriate behaviour among the beneficiaries to start the vaccination process at their premises.
"States and 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," it added.
The Centre urged the states and the UTs to ensure adequate allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to all government as well as private hospitals, for the entire duration for which vaccination sessions have been planned.
The states and Union territories were also urged not to store, preserve, conserve or create a buffer stock of the COVID-19 vaccines, the health ministry added.
The ministry also stated that the Co-WIN portal can be scaled up to accommodate all potential and eligible beneficiaries. "The portal should be put to effective use as the backbone of the vaccination programme," the ministry added.
As per the data by the health ministry, since Monday when Co-WIN opened for people, more than 50 lakh people registered themselves on the portal, without any system glitch. On March 1, the phase 2 vaccination drive for those over 60 years of age and within the age bracket of 45-60 years with specified comorbidities began across the country. The registration opened at 9 am Monday on the Co-WIN portal -- cowin.gov.in.
In the first two phases so far, 1,48,55,073 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country till 1 pm on Tuesday. Health and frontline workers were administered the vaccines against coronavirus first.
Until now, 67,04,856 healthcare and 53,43,219 frontline workers have been given the first dose of the vaccine. Besides, 2,08,791 people above 60 years of age and those aged 45-60 years with comorbidities have also taken their first shot of COVID-19 jabs.
Also read: Jio, Airtel aggressive bids stun industry