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Don't restrict movement of people, may affect COVID vaccine drive: Centre tells States

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New Delhi, Apr 18: The central government on Sunday directed all States, Union Territories to ensure that movement restriction imposed by them for Covid-19 control does not adversely impact the vaccination exercise, by restricting access of beneficiaries to the Covid-19 vaccination centres.

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In a letter to states and UTs, Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry Manohar Agnani said that in view of rising COVID-19 cases, various measures are being undertaken to control the spread of coronavirus infection which also includes curfews and partial/complete lockdown in some states and districts for variable periods.

Similarly, for management of coronavirus infected patients certain hospitals are being earmarked as dedicated COVID-19 hospitals for management of only COVID-19 cases.

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"In this regard it is advised COVID-19 vaccination services should not be affected by COVID-19 curfews/lockdowns and the movement of beneficiaries to and fro COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) should not be restricted during such interventions.

"Similarly, those CVCs which have been identified as dedicated COVID-19 hospitals should continue providing uninterrupted COVID-19 vaccination services. Vaccination services should be provided in a separate building/block in these hospitals that is directly separated from the building/block where management of COVID-19 patients is being done," he said.

This will ensure that beneficiaries of vaccination are not inadvertently exposed to COVID-19 at these hospitals.

"I request you to kindly direct the concerned officials for ensuring uninterrupted continuation of COVID-19 vaccination across all states and UTs. The Government of India will extend all possible support for COVID-19 vaccination which is an important strategy for mitigating the impact of the ongoing pandemic," the official said.

He said that the world''s largest vaccination drive currently underway in India has now completed three months wherein 12.26 crore doses have been administered to beneficiaries prioritised by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).

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