'Adequate availability' of COVID-19 vaccines: Centre asks states to focus on second dose
New Delhi, Oct 11: The central government on Tuesday reviewed the status and progress of COVID-19 vaccination with states/Union Territories and urged the respective governments to focus on second dose coverage of vaccination in light of adequate availability of doses.
Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary reviewed the progress of COVID19 vaccination with Health Secretaries and NHM MDs of States and UTs, through video conference (VC) yesterday.
Highlighting that the nation is close to administering a billion doses, Health Secretary congratulated the States/UTs on their effort to vaccinate all citizens. It was highlighted that a sizeable number of beneficiaries who are eligible have not received their 2nd dose. States and UTs were urged to focus on these second vaccination dose.
It was pointed out that many States have adequate doses to vaccinate those people who are awaiting their 2nd dose. Government of India is in a position to provide additional vaccine doses to the States/UTs so that they can complete the aforesaid task. They were also exhorted to improve the momentum and accelerate the vaccination drive.
States and UTs were advised to identify and prioritize districts having low coverage for focused action and explore requirement for mobilization efforts, addressing local challenges, need for additional Covid Vaccination Centres and improving access in rural areas. They were also requested to share their strategies to enhance second dose coverage.
The Health Ministry has issued various SOPs over the last one year for International Travel. It is in the process of reviewing the guidelines in consultation with all stakeholders including the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of External Affairs. States/UTs were also requested to share their suggestion or feedback.
One of the largest such exercises globally, the countrywide COVID19 vaccination programme was launched on 16th January 2021 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.