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No shortage of COVID vaccines with States, Centre says will continuously replenish supplies
New Delhi, March 31, 2021
The Centre today said there was no shortage of COVID vaccines with the States and the supplies were being continuously replenished.
Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, and R S Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA) and Chairperson, Empowered Group on COVID Vaccination, chaired a high-level meeting through video conference with Health Secretaries, State Mission Directors of NHM and State Immunization officers of all States and UTs.
The meeting reviewed the status, pace and issues regarding COVID vaccination across the country as well as the preparations for April when the vaccination would be extended to all persons above the age of 45. A key theme underlying the meet was the identification of low vaccine coverage pockets particularly in districts showing COVID surge and for taking corrective action in such areas.
The meeting issued an advisory to the States and UTs regarding the vaccination coverage of Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Front Line Workers (FLWs).
They were asked to ensure that only eligible beneficiaries were registered and vaccinated under HCW and FLW categories.
Incorrect or duplicate entries on the Cowin platform were to be archived. Pockets of low vaccination coverage – health facility/professional association/blocks, districts etc. were to be identified for taking corrective action. Priority should be given for saturation of vaccination of these groups.
Regarding the involvement of Private COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs), the States/UTs were asked to conduct regular reviews of vaccinations at Private CVCs concerning their capacity utilization.
GIS analysis of CVCs should be undertaken to identify the need for additional CVCs within States/UTs. Apprehensions of Private CVCs regarding vaccine supply, guidelines etc should be addressed proactively.
On the issue of Vaccine Stocks, the States and UTs were advised to ensure that there was no sedimentation of vaccine stocks at any level of storage.
Distribution should be based on consumption to avoid overstocking as well as under-stocking at Cold Chain Points and CVCs.
Regular review of vaccine stocks and consumption should be undertaken to identify gap areas and address the same.
Vaccine wastage should be maintained at less than 1% (present National Wastage Percentage being 6%). Regular review of vaccine wastage should be undertaken across all levels to minimize the same.
Timely utilization of available stocks should be ensured to avoid the expiry of vaccines without usage. Timely updating of data of vaccine consumption should be ensured on CoWIN and eVIN portals.
Dr Sharma said there was no problem in the storage and logistics of vaccines. Also, there was no value in conserving vaccines for the second dose and that States must promptly supply vaccines to all government and private hospitals where there is a demand.