Slow pace of Covid-19 vaccination by private centres ‘cause of serious worry’: Centre tells some states
The Union ministry of health and family welfare on Wednesday told the health secretaries of 15 states and Union territories (UT) that the slow pace of Covid-19 vaccination by private centres in these states is a “cause of serious worry.” The ministry also directed the states to review the status and progress of Covid-19 vaccine procurement by the private centres on a daily basis.
“Highlighting the slow pace of vaccination through the PCVCs, States were advised to review status and progress on vaccine procurement by PCVCs on a daily basis. They were advised to ensure speedy and effective coordination between the PCVCs and the vaccine manufacturers to remove bottlenecks, if any. It was pointed out that advance visibility of the COVID vaccines to the States by the Union Health Ministry is in turn required to be communicated to the citizens by States,” the ministry said in a statement. The remarks followed a high-level meeting chaired by Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan with the health secretaries of 15 states and UTs.
Health secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana along with nodal officers from Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India were present in the meeting.
The ministry highlighted four main concerns to the states and also gave related advisories to the states and UTs. It said that many private vaccination centres have not placed an order for the number of Covid-19 vaccines allocated for them. It also advised the states to review the status daily and place orders quickly with the vaccine makers.
The health ministry noted that the payment towards the quantity of vaccines ordered has not been made in some cases where the order has already been placed while in other cases no payment has been made for the entire order. States and private centres were asked to reduce the gap between the quantity procured and the delay in payment.
While in some cases the quantity of vaccines paid for has not been fully lifted by the states and the private centres and in some other cases, the quantity procured has not been fully administered, the ministry further said. In these scenarios, the ministry asked the states to ensure that all doses dispatched were procured and all unutilised doses to be administered quickly.
“States were again informed of the usage of the CoWIN platform as the backend management tool for the order placements. States and UTs are required to aggregate this demand,” the ministry further said in its statement. It also said that while five workshops have already been organised to orient nodal officers and private centres for using the CoWin platform, it asked the states to indicate if more such sessions were needed.