Tag Archives: covid vaccination

covid vaccines for all

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1713762

Union Health Secretary Shri Rajesh Bhushan and Dr R S Sharma, Chairman, Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat COVID-19 chaired a high-level meeting to guide the States/UTs on effective implementation of the New Vaccination Strategy (Phase-3) and to review their augmentation plans so as to strengthen the existing hospital and clinical treatment infrastructure for COVID patients.  

Dr R S Sharma noted that the CoWIN platform has now stabilized and is working at scale flawlessly. It is equipped to handle the complexities of the new phase of vaccination starting from 1st May. He highlighted the importance of uploading correct and timely data by States/UTs as any incorrect data would compromise the integrity of the entire system.           
With regards to the Phase III Vaccination strategy from 1st May 2021, the States were specifically advised to:

  • Register additional private COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) in mission mode by engaging with private hospitals, hospitals of industrial establishments, Industry Associations, etc., coordinating with designated appropriate authority, mechanism for applications/requests and their processing and monitoring of pendency of registration.
  • Monitor number of hospitals that have procured vaccines and have declared stocks and prices on COWIN.
  • Schedule Vaccination for eligible population for providing adequate visibility of vaccination slots on COWIN.
  • Prioritize Decision regarding direct procurement of vaccines by State/UT Government.
  • Publicize about facility of ‘only online registration’ for age groups 18-45 year.
  • Train CVC staff about Vaccination, AEFI reporting and management, Use of COWIN – Training schedule and Reconciliation of vaccine stocks have been already provided to private CVCs.
  • Coordinate with law-and-order authorities for effective crowd management at CVCs.

Regarding infrastructure augmentation for effective clinical treatment of the hospitalized COVID patients, States were advised to review their existing hospital and other COVID treatment infrastructure in light of the daily new case, daily fatality and those that would require hospitalization.

To prepare and implement a Comprehensive Plan for Augmentation, the States were advised to:

  • Identify additional Dedicated Covid-19 hospitals and prepare field hospital facilities either through DRDO, CSIR or similar agencies in the public and private sector.
  • Ensure adequacy in terms of oxygen supported beds, ICU beds and oxygen supplies.  Setting up centralized call center-based services for allocation of beds.
  • Deploy of requisite Human Resources with proper Training & mentoring of doctors and nurses for management of patients and Strengthening ambulance services.
  • Establish of sufficient referral linkages for districts with deficit infrastructure through deployment of additional ambulances.
  • Set up of centralized call center-based services for allocation of beds.

The States were also advised to:

  • Maintain a real-time record for available beds and make is easily accessible to general public
  • Create guidelines and enable states to take over private health facilities to provide COVID-19 care
  • Expand designated COVID-19 care facilities for isolation of asymptomatic and mild symptomatic patients so that all those who either cannot isolate at home and/or are willing for institutional isolation, have access to the requisite space and care
  • Provide tele-medicine facilities for patients who are isolated at home
  • Ensure adequate availability of oxygen, ventilators and intensive care under trained doctors, as well as access to steroids and other drugs as appropriate
  • step up creation of in-hospital oxygen plants in large hospitals
  • Pay fair and regular remuneration to ASHAs and other frontline workers who are being engaged for COVID-19

Various steps taken by the Union Government to augment hospital infrastructure in the States and UTs were reiterated, such as Union Government’s instructions to Hospitals under the control of Central departments/PSUs to set-up exclusive dedicated hospitals or separate blocks within the hospitals. The plan to set up temporary COVID Care facilities and makeshift hospitals, including ICU beds, in coordination with the DRDO and CSIR-CBRI was re-iterated. The State/UTs were guided to co-ordinate with Corporate entities/PSUs/Government Departments for their CSR funds to facilitate setting up makeshift hospitals and temporary COVID care facilities. Cooperation with National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) for repurposing healthcare facilities (spread across 18 regional offices) for creation of COVID facilities was also advised. They were also advised to use Railway Coaches for management of mild cases; details of availability of 3,816 such coaches, across 16 Zones of Railways have been shared with the States.

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covid-19 vax for above 18

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1712710

In a meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi, an important decision of allowing vaccination to everyone above the age of 18 from 1st May has been taken. PM said that the Government has been working hard from over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible of time. He added that India is vaccinating people at world record pace& we will continue this with even greater momentum.

India’s National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy has been built on a systematic and strategic end-to-end approach, proactively building capacity across R&D, Manufacturing and Administration since April 2020. While pushing for scale and speed, it has simultaneously been anchored in the stability necessary to sustainably execute the World’s Largest Vaccination Drive.

India’s approach has been built on scientific and epidemiological pillars, guided by Global Best Practices, SoPs of WHO as well as our India’s foremost experts in the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC).

India has been following a dynamic mapping model based on availability of vaccines & coverage of vulnerable priority groups to take decisions of when to open up vaccinations to other age-groups. A good amount of coverage of vulnerable groups is expected by 30th April.

Phase-I of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy was launched on 16th January 2021, prioritizing protection for our protectors, our Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Front Line Workers (FLWs). As systems and processes stabilized, Phase-II was initiated from 1st March 2021, focusing on protecting our most vulnerable i.e. all people above 45 years of age, accounting for more than 80% Covid mortality in the country. The private sector was also roped in to augment capacity.

As per PM Modi’s directions, Government of India has proactively engaged and coordinated with stakeholders across the spectrum, from research institutes to national and international manufacturers, global regulators etc. The strength of India’s private sector vaccine manufacturing capability has been strategically empowered through unprecedented decisive steps, from facilitating public-private collaborative research, trials and product development, to targeted public grants and far-reaching governance reforms in India’s regulatory system. Government of According to PM Modi’s instructions, India is in regular touch with each manufacturer, including having sent multiple inter-ministerial teams on site, to understand each one’s requirements and provide proactive and customized support in the form of grants, advance payments, more sites for production, etc to ramp up vaccine production.

This has resulted in Emergency Use Authorisation being granted to two indigenously manufactured vaccines (Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech), and a third vaccine (Sputnik) that while presently manufactured abroad will eventually be manufactured in India.

Government of India has roped in the private sector in the vaccination drive right from the beginning. Now, as capabilities and processes have stabilized, the public as well as private sector has the experience and confidence to rapidly scale up.

In its Phase-III, the National Vaccine Strategy aims at liberalised vaccine pricing and scaling up of vaccine coverage. This would augment vaccine production as well as availability, incentivising vaccine manufacturers to rapidly ramp up their production as well as attract new vaccine manufacturers, domestic and international. It would also make pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines open and flexible, allowing all stakeholders the flexibility to customise to local needs and dynamics.

The main elements of the  Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy of the National Covid-19 Vaccination program that would come in effect from 1st May 2021, are as follows:-

(i)      Vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to Govt. of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50% doses to State Govts. and in the open market (hereinafter referred to as other than Govt. of India channel).

 (ii)    Manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50% supply that would be available to State Govts. and in open market, before 1st May 2021. Based on this price, State governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments etc would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers. Private Hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50% supply earmarked for other than Govt. of India channel. Private Vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price. The eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, i.e. everyone above the age of 18.

(iii)    Vaccination shall continue as before in Govt. of India vaccination centres, provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier i.e. Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age.

(iv)    All vaccination (through Govt. of India and Other than Govt. of India channel) would be part of the National Vaccination Programme, and mandated to follow all protocol such as being captured on CoWIN platform, linked to AEFI reporting and all other prescribed norms. Stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all vaccination centres will also have to be reported real-time.

(v)     The division of vaccine supply 50% to Govt. of India and 50% to other than Govt. of India channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country. However Government of India will allow the imported fully ready to use vaccines to be entirely utilized in the other than Govt. of India channel.

(vi)    Govt. of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) & performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on the above criteria, State-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the States adequately in advance.

(vii) Second dose of all existing priority groups i.e. HCWs, FLWs and population above 45 years, wherever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.

(viii) This policy would come into effect from 1st May 2021 and will be reviewed from time to time.

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CSR for covid vax

MCA has clarified vide its circular no. 1/2021 dated 13th January, 2021 that any expenditure going towards awareness campaign / public outreach campaign on the covid vaccination program will be considered as CSR activity and the expenses can accordingly be taken under that head by the companies.

Earlier it was clarified that expenditure on covid related activity be considered as a CSR spend.

Copy of the MCA circular can be found at its site.

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