News Update

COVID-19: Centre asks States to allocate 70% vaccines for 2nd dose

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, MAY 11, 2021: THE government on Tuesday directed States and Union Territories (UTs) to prioritise the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccines and allocate a minimum of 70 per cent vaccines received from the Centre towards it.

In a meeting chaired by Health Secretary Mr Rajesh Bhushan and Mr R S Sharma, Chairman of the Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat COVID-19, the government reviewed the status of Covid vaccination with health secretaries and representatives of States and UTs.

States were asked to ensure all beneficiaries who have taken the first dose are prioritised for the second doses. They were told to reserve at least 70 per cent of the vaccines supplied to them by the Centre for administering the second dose and keep the remaining 30 per cent for the first dose.

"This however is indicative. States have the liberty to enhance this to as much as 100 per cent. State-wise numbers on CoWIN have been shared with States for their planning purposes," said the government.

The States were also asked to undertake awareness campaigns for reinforcing the importance of completing the vaccination with two doses.

The Health Secretary urged States to ensure that priority groups are vaccinated and plan the vaccination sessions accordingly.

"States have been informed in a transparent manner in advance about the Covid vaccines being provided to them from the Centre's channel. The visibility for the forthcoming fortnight is conveyed to them in advance to enable better and more effective planning by them," it said.

States were also urged to minimise vaccine wastage by retraining and reorienting the vaccinators to ensure the judicious usage of the doses. "All wastage more than the national average hereafter is to be adjusted from the subsequent allocations to that State/UT," the government cautioned.

Certain States are also reporting a negative wastage because well-trained healthworkers can extract maximum doses per vial than what is otherwise generally earmarked.

States were also briefed about procurement from the 'Other than Government of India' (OGoI) channel which has been opened in the liberalised phase-III strategy of vaccination.

States were advised to constitute a dedicated team to coordinate with the vaccine manufacturers on a daily basis and secure supplies promptly. This team will coordinate with private hospitals to facilitate their procurement thereby maintaining the momentum of the overall vaccination exercise in the State.

The CoWIN platform is also being modified to better reflect the changing needs of the vaccination exercise. The States can download a 'Second Dose Due' report to better plan the completion of vaccination of the target groups.