Amidst the alarming rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the central government announced that from April 11 onwards, workplaces in both private and public sectors can begin their vaccination drives, provided there are 100 eligible beneficiaries within the organisation. This has been done to boost the ongoing vaccination drive in the country, which also continues to grapple with wastage and shortage of supplies.
In a letter addressed to the additional chief secretaries and principal secretaries health of states, Union Health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan explained, “To increase access of vaccines to people aged 45 years and above, COVID-19 vaccination sessions may be organised at workplaces (private and government) which 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries by tagging these workplaces with an existing COVID vaccination centre.”
Highlighting the rationale behind this move, the Centre explained that a substantial proportion of the people aged 45 to 69 years, and even up to 65 years work in the organised sector, and are involved in formal occupations across the various sectors.
This is how it is slated to work:
• The district magistrate, municipal commissioner will identify the potential workplaces that can host the vaccination centres. Each of these workplaces should have at least 100 eligible persons. Additionally, there is a need for three rooms: waiting, vaccination, and observation.
• Once the workplace is identified, they will be registered on the CoWIN platform as a government or private centre.
• The government workplace will be tied up to an existing government vaccine centre, while the private workplace will work with an existing COVID vaccination centre.
• A nodal officer will be appointed by the workplace to register the eligible persons.
• Once 50 beneficiaries have been registered, a vaccination centre will be planned, where the existing vaccination centre will deploy teams for the same.
• The dosage is free of cost at government workplaces, while private workplaces can charge a maximum of INR 250 per vaccine dose.