Covid vaccination: Stop fresh registrations of healthcare workers, govt tells states | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Union health ministry on Saturday directed states and union Territories not to register healthcare and frontline workers (HCWs and FLWs) for the vaccination process as some “ineligible” beneficiaries were getting their names enlisted in violation of rules.
In a letter to states, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said registration of people aged above 45 will continue as usual through the CoWin portal, PTI reported.
Elaborating on the decision, Bhushan said that all efforts have been made in close collaboration with states and UTs to saturate vaccination of HCWs and FLWs.
He said that the timeline for the completion of vaccination process for these two groups has been extended multiple times.
It was finally fixed at February 25 for HCWs and March 6 for FLWs, he said.
Around one month has elapsed since these timelines and even after starting the vaccination of the population above 60 years, provision was made to register and vaccinate HCWs and FLWs with a view to ensure optimal coverage, he underlined.
“Various inputs have been received from different sources that in some of the Covid-19 vaccination centers (CVCs), some ineligible beneficiaries are being registered as HCWs and FLWs and are getting vaccinated in complete violation of the prescribed guidelines,” Bhushan said.
He pointed out that there has been a 24 per cent increase in HCW database in the past few days.
“This issue was discussed with state representatives and domain knowledge experts in the NEGVAC meeting today, and as per the recommendation of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), it has been decided that no fresh registrations in categories of HCWs and FLWs will be allowed with immediate effect. Registrations of persons aged 45 years and above will continue to be permitted on CoWIN portal, “he said in the letter.
“I request you to kindly direct the officials concerned for wider dissemination of this policy decision for compliance. However, universal vaccination of already registered HCWs and FLWs should be ensured at the earliest,” he said.
The center had rolled out the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16 with healthcare workers receiving the first jabs.
The vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2.
The program was further expanded to include people above the age of 60 and those over 45 with comorbidities from March 1.
Last month, the Center announced that all those above the age of 45 will be eligible for vaccination from April 1.
Covishield and Covaxin are the two vaccines currently being administered to beneficiaries in India.
(With inputs from PTI)

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