r. P.K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, today chaired a high-level meeting to review the public health response to COVID-19 and asked all the States and Union territories to assiduously expedite vaccination of priority groups in accordance with the guidelines, in this regard.
Cabinet Secretary, Union Secretaries of the concerned departments, and Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories were present in the meeting.
While reviewing the situation, the Principal Secretary to the PM appreciated the efforts of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, State/UT Governments, respective Health Departments and the medical field staff for the successful phase-wise roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination. It was informed that, till date, more than 2.4 million people have been vaccinated across India in one of the world’s largest vaccination drives.
It was informed that the COWIN Portal is hosting geo-tagged locations of all the vaccination centres along with the data on vaccine availability and supply chain management, which can be used by the States/UTs to facilitate vaccination-related planning and monitoring. Stress was laid on gradual ramping up of the vaccination related facilities to organize gross root drives for inclusive and equitable coverage of population.
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The States/UTs were asked to lay special focus on sharing the vaccination schedule across respective vaccination centres over the next 15 days, efficient monitoring of the supply chain management of vaccines to reduce wastage on account of expiration, a gradual increase in the number as well as the capacity of vaccination centres, crowd management at vaccination sites, and general promotion COVID appropriate behaviour.
The States/UTs were also asked to ensure a multi-sectoral response in addition to swift vaccination drives to prevent subsequent waves of infection especially in the wake of the emergence of mutant strains of the virus. They were advised to ardently promote COVID appropriate behaviour, improve the rate of testing especially in districts that are falling short of target quotas, increase the share of RTPCR tests viz-a-viz RATs, monitor mutant strain for early hotspot identification, adopt refocused & stringent containment strategies and undertake priority vaccination with provisions of geographically targeted vaccination in clusters witnessing a surge in COVID cases.
In Jammu and Kashmir, COVID-19 vaccination drives are being held across 2834 COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) including 34 private centres. The vaccines are being administered free of cost at all government CVCs and at private centres against the payment of Rs. 250 per dose.