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Centre to allow COVID-19 vaccination at workplaces

States and UTs have been asked to prepare for launch by April 11

A medic administers the dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a frontline worker during an inoculation drive, at a vaccination camp in Old Delhi | PTI Representational image | PTI

The Union government, today, announced that it will allow all workplaces, public and private, to organise COVID-19 vaccination sessions on their premises if they have 100 eligible beneficiaries.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter to the chief secretaries, said a substantial proportion of population aged 45 years and above is in the organised sector of the economy and is involved in formal occupation in offices (government and private) or manufacturing and services.

"In order to increase the access of vaccine to these populations, COVID-19 vaccination sessions may be organised at work places (both public & private) which are having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries by tagging these work places with an existing COVID vaccination centre," Bhushan said in the letter.

He said the states can initiate due consultations with private/public sector employers and management to prepare for launch of workplace vaccination. "Such work place vaccination centres may be launched across states/Union territories from April 11, 2021," he said.

The number of new coronavirus cases in India hit a record daily high since the outbreak of the pandemic with over 1.15 lakh new infections being reported in a span of 24 hours, pushing the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,28,01,785, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Wednesday.

The single-day rise in coronavirus cases breached the 1-lakh mark for the second time in three days. A total of 1,15,736 infections were reported in a day, while the death toll increased to 1,66,177 with 630 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8am showed.

On March 23, the Centre had announced the opening of vaccination against COVID-19 for all people above 45 years of age from April 1.

How the workplace vaccination will be rolled out

Bhushan said there would be a detailed scrutiny of the workplaces, which would be identified by the district task force and urban task force chaired by the municipal commissioner.

·        Beneficiaries will be required to register in CoWIN portal.

·        No family member or outsider would be allowed to get the shot at the workplace barring the eligible employee.

·        The workplace will have to be linked to cold chain facilities as also private and government vaccination centres.

·        The existing health infrastructure in these workplaces would be allowed to be utilised for vaccination.

·        The allocated government or private COVID-19 vaccination centre will be tasked to train healthcare workers for the vaccination drive.

·        The district administration will deploy vaccination teams at government workplaces. Private vaccination centres will deploy healthcare staff at private workplaces.

(With PTI inputs)

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