NEW DELHI: As the number of Covid-19 vaccinations crossed the 56 lakh mark on Saturday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the status and progress of the immunisation drive and urged states to improve the number of average vaccinations per session.
Of the total figure, 52,66,175 beneficiaries are healthcare workers and 3,70,693 are frontline workers. There are 13 states and UTs in India now where at least 60% of the targeted healthcare workers have received the first jabs while this percentage is less than 40 in 12 states and UTs.
In the review meeting, the state health secretaries were asked to analyse the daily variation in the number of average vaccinations and take necessary steps to increase them.
Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan also asked states to ensure 100% saturation of people who have already been registered on CoWin digital platform and also advised them to organise simultaneous vaccination sessions every day in the health facility wherever possible.
Every state was directed to ensure that all healthcare workers should be scheduled for vaccination at least once before February 20 and immediately thereafter mop-up rounds should be organised for them.
Similarly, all frontline workers must be scheduled for vaccination at least once before March 6 and immediately thereafter organise mop-up rounds for them, states were told.
The failure of potential beneficiaries to get vaccinated in the mop-up round would automatically push them to the age-appropriate vaccination category, said Bhushan.
The Centre is looking to launch Covid-19 vaccination for people above 50 in March and administration of the second and final shots of the vaccines for beneficiaries, who have got the first jabs, will begin on February 13.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement that India is the fastest country to reach the five million Covid-19 vaccination mark -- in 21 days. “Several other countries which have had a head start have taken a longer time, some as much as 60 days, to reach this target,” it said.