In a push to further increase the vaccination coverage among the general population, the Centre has directed the states to utilise 100 per cent capacity of private hospitals functioning as Covid-19 vaccination centres.
In the first two days of the second phase of innoculation drive that began on Monday – where all citizens above the age of 60 years and those above 45 years with associated comorbidities are eligible for vaccination – only private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat, Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), and State Health Insurance were designated as vaccination centres.
However, the Centre Tuesday directed states to utilise all the private hospitals for the vaccination drive. “Private hospitals not empanelled under the above mentioned three categories have also been permitted to operate as COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs)…States/UTs can proactively make efforts to use these private hospitals as CVCs,” the Union Health Ministry said.
The decision was communicated to the states on Tuesday in a high-level meeting chaired by Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary along with Dr Ram S Sharma, Chairman of Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration (Co-WIN).
However, the states have directed to ensure that all the private hospitals that will operate as vaccination centres must have “an adequate number of vaccinators, adequate space for observation of the vaccinated, adequate cold chain arrangement and adequate arrangement for the management of Adverse Event Following Immunisation”.