The Centre has urged states and Union territories to hold special camps on routes of various yatras as well as at office complexes, railway stations and schools and colleges for administering precaution doses of Covid vaccine to all aged above 18 years.
The 75-day ‘COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsava’ to provide free precaution dose to all eligible population aged above 18 years at government Covid vaccination centres will commence on Friday.
In a virtual meeting with health secretaries of state and Union territories and NHM MDs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan urged them to give an intensive and ambitious push towards full vaccination coverage by inoculating all eligible beneficiaries and covering them with precaution dose, a health ministry statement said.
Bhushan highlighted that less percentage of precaution doses among population groups aged 18 years and above (8%) and persons aged 60 years and above (27%) is a cause of concern.
Those eligible for the precaution dose include all persons aged 18 years and above who have completed 6 months (or 26 weeks) from the date of administration of second dose.
Bhushan also advised States to operationalise special workplace vaccination camps at big office complexes(public and private), industrial establishments, railway stations, inter-state bus stations, in schools and colleges etc.
In all such special vaccination camps, vaccination to be done mandatorily through CoWIN and vaccination certificate to be provided.
Ambitious district/ block/CVC-wise session plans need to be made for successful implementation of the initiative and to ensure that all eligible population is covered by precaution dose, the statement said.
The states and UTs were also advised to do wide advance publicity of this initiative in print, electronic, social and mass media.
State health secretaries have been urged to undertake a regular weekly reviews of progress at the state level.
The principle of first expiry, first out shall continue to guide the Covid vaccination, the statement said.
Uptake of Sputnik V vax: Expressing concern over low uptake of precautionary doses of Sputnik V vaccine, the Centre asked states to increase it.
The uptake of precaution dose of Sputnik V is only 0.5 per cent of those who are due for it.
In a letter to all states and UTs, the Health Ministry on Thursday suggested some measures to increase the uptake of Sputnik V booster doses.
“Private CVCs (Covid vaccination centres), which were providing Sputnik V vaccine, may reach out to due beneficiaries to receive the due doses (both second and precaution dose). Targeted communication may be established for the due beneficiaries of the precaution dose of Sputnik V,” it added.