THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: The Covid-19 vaccination program has expanded to target primary and community health centres, Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres sub-division hospitals, district hospitals and medical college hospitals to be designated as vaccination centres.
The phase of the vaccination drive will set to begin from March 1 as told on Friday by the Centre to the states. Hospitals empanelled for state-run health insurance schemes will also be the vaccination centre. The programme targeted people above 60 and those over 45 with specified comorbidities will involve a network of private hospitals empanelled under the Central Government Health Schemes and Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana.
As of now, healthcare workers and frontline workers are allocated vaccination centres and do not get an option to choose the centre of their choice.
However with the upcoming expansion in the vaccination programme, states were also informed that as Co-WIN, the platform driving the vaccination, is being upgraded and current beneficiaries will also have a choice of vaccination centres, as decided in the meeting with Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and R S Sharma, chairman of the empowered group on vaccine administration.
“States were also asked to keep a vaccination scale-up plan ready which will include the granular weekly and fortnightly plans for scaling up the vaccination sites both within the government and private facilities and also the number of vaccine doses administered” said Bhushan in a meeting on Friday.
Simultaneously, government facilities such as primary and community health centres, Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres sub-division hospitals, district hospitals and medical college hospitals will double up as vaccination centres, as per the Centre.
States have to assured if the private health facilities as vaccination centres have basic cold chain equipment, their own team of vaccinators and staff and adequate facility for management of any adverse event following immunisation cases. Meanwhile, all beneficiaries, must have also been asked to carry specified documents for identity verification regardless of the mode of access. However, those with comorbidities will need a certificate from a registered medical practitioner for further proceedings.
The process of registration will include three routes:
- advance self-registration
- on-site registration
- facilitated cohort registration
Adding to this, health ministry said “Vaccination will be free of charge at the Government Vaccination Centres”, and further added that those taking the Covid vaccine at any designated empanelled private health facility will have to pay a pre-fixed charge, which is yet to be made public.