The government has lifted the time restriction to increase the speed of vaccination
NEW DELHI: Looking to step up the pace of vaccination against Covid, the government allowed round-the-clock vaccinations at hospitals with surplus capacity and resources, enabling people to schedule their appointments along with better crowd management, health minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday.
As familiarity with processes increased and more hospitals activated their links to the Co-Win portal, a little over 6.9 lakh doses were administered till 7pm on the third day of the second phase of vaccinations being extended to people above 60 and between 45-60 years with specified co-morbidities that can increase risk from the infection. In the last three days, over 8.4 lakh recipients were above 60 years of age, whereas just over 1 lakh were between 45-60 years with co-morbidities.
“The government has lifted the time restriction to increase the speed of vaccination. People can now get vaccinated 24x7 according to their convenience. PM Narendra Modi understands the value of health as well as the time of citizens,” Vardhan tweeted on Wednesday. The extension of vaccination timings will, however, depend on hospitals and their capacity and decisions taken by states.
In swift redress of teething issues like over-crowding, unavailability of vacancies at private hospitals or non-scheduling of appointments and delay in receiving OTPs, the government took a series of measures including allowing all private hospitals with adequate facilities to join the vaccination drive. Initially, only those private hospitals that were empanelled under Ayushman Bharat, CGHS and state health insurance schemes were involved for Covid vaccination.
The government also relaxed the 9am to 5pm slot for sessions and instead allowed hospitals to organise sessions beyond 5pm with flexibility on the Co-Win platform to facilitate the same. This had been announced on Tuesday. Hospitals with largescale infrastructure and trained resources can organise multiple sessions spread out through the day.
Officials said the number of sessions was likely to increase significantly by the end of this week as empanelled hospitals prepare themselves better and more hospitals join the programme.