Over one crore 56 lakh people vaccinated so far; Centre allows more private hospitals to administer COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 recovery rate in the country has touched 97.06 per cent. The Health Ministry said, over 13 thousand people were discharged in the last 24 hours. Till now, over one crore 8 lakh 12 thousand people have recovered from the COVID-19 infection. In the last 24 hours, around 15 thousand new cases were reported. With this, the total number of cases have reached over one crore 11 lakh. The Ministry said, 98 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. So far, over one crore 56 lakh beneficiaries have been vaccinated.
The Union Government has removed time constraints for COVID vaccination at hospitals and has allowed the facility for 24×7 vaccination facility. Confirming the decision today, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that Hospitals don’t have to necessarily stick to a fixed schedule to vaccinate people against COVID-19 and can extend or advance the vaccination schedule any day. He added that this will help speed up the vaccination drive as more and more people become eligible for the life-saving jabs.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that since all hospitals including private and government are involved in the inoculation drive and are linked with the CoWIN system, the flexible schedule allowed by the government will be applicable to both. He asserted that the flexible timing will also avoid crowding at the vaccination sites. The Health Minister added that States and Union Territories in consultation with private hospitals should open vaccination slots for 15 days to a month and announce this as part of their vaccine timetable.
The Centre has also decided to allow all the private hospitals empanelled to Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PM JAY) Central Government Health Scheme and similar State Health Insurance Schemes can function as COVID Vaccination Centres.
In a press release, the government has said, the decision was taken to utilise 100 per cent capacities of all private hospitals. The government also permitted those private hospitals not empanelled with the three schemes as a COVID Vaccination Centres. It said, the private hospital will be worked as COVID Vaccination Centres, if they have adequate number of vaccinators, adequate space for observation of the vaccinated, adequate cold chain arrangement and adequate arrangement for management of AEFI.
Ensuring the adequate allocation of vaccines to all hospitals, the governemnt said the Centre has adequate stock and will provide the required vaccine doses to the States and UTs. It added that States and UTs should not store, reserve, conserve or create a buffer stock of the COVID vaccines at the State and district levels. The government also asked the all Private Vaccination Centres to have in place effective crowd management protocols along with facilities for seating, water and proper signage.

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