Thu, 25 Feb 2021

By Priyanka SharmaNew Delhi [India], January 28 (ANI): The Union Health Ministry on Friday directed all states and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure that there is no wastage of COVID-19 vaccines as vaccinators at the session sites can add more people or beneficiaries apart from 'targeted 100 beneficiaries in a day at a particular vaccination site'.

"When we started the COVID-19 vaccination programme, we had factored in at 10 per cent wastage across the country. We have issued very detailed guidelines to the states and UTs about how to avoid wastage of vaccines. We have made our digital platform more flexible and we have permitted that apart from the schedule hundred people, the person who is handling the vaccination session at a particular site can add additional people as long as they are part of the database," said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan while responding to a question on how vaccine wastage is being tackled.

The Union Health Secretary during the media briefing said Health Ministry will share the data of vaccine wastage after the ministry analyse it.

Bhushan informed that there are several states that need to improve vaccination performance. It includes -- Jharkhand (14 per cent vaccination), Delhi (15 per cent vaccination), Tamil Nadu (15 per cent vaccination), Uttarakhand (17 per cent vaccination), Chhattisgarh (20 per cent vaccination) and Maharashtra (20 per cent vaccination).

The Health Secretary also expresses 'deep appreciation' for states and Union Territories like--Lakshadweep (83 per cent healthcare workers vaccinated), Odisha (more than 50 per cent beneficiaries vaccinated), and Haryana (59 per cent beneficiaries vaccinated) among others for covering a large number of beneficiaries in a short time.

Witnessing vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers, the Union Health Ministry has been urging health workers to fulfill their 'social responsibility' by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

He also said India was the fastest to reach the first 1 million vaccinations.

'We achieved this within 6 days, US did this in 10 days, Spain in 12 days, Israel in 14 days, UK in 18 days, Italy in 19 days, Germany in 20 days and UAE in 27 days," Bhushan stated.

He added that after the meeting of Technical Advisory Committee and Health Minister, it was decided that full day schools will reopen for students of Classes 9 to 12 from February 1.

"Attendance will not be compulsory, and classes in both online and offline modes will be available. Classes of students of 6 to 8 standard will continue as they are happening," he added.

Recently, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul said at a press briefing that issue related to adverse events pertaining to vaccines "is unfounded, negligible and insignificant".

"The data shows that we are in a comfortable situation. I would like to assure that from the data that these two vaccines (Covidshield and Coxavin) are safe, they do not excite undue reacto-genicity and are being accepted increasingly," said Paul.

As many as 25,07,556 beneficiaries have been vaccinated for COVID-19 till 2 pm today across the country, Union Health Ministry informed. (ANI)

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