In a significant development, the Centre on Wednesday said that it will allow vaccination sessions to be organised at workplaces (public and private offices), in order to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination drive across the country.
To increase accessibility to the vaccine, it said vaccination camps can be held at workplaces that have around 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries.
States and Union Territories have been asked to make adequate preparations as the programme will be launched on April 11, 2021.
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.
"Such workplace vaccination centres may be launched across states/Union territories from April 11, 2021," he said.
"The District Task Force (DTF) chaired by District Magistrate and Urban Task Force (UTF) chaired by Municipal Commissioner will identify such government and private workplaces after due deliberations with relevant employers and/or head of offices," the letter said.
The letter further said, "Once identified, all such workplace vaccination centres will be registered in the CoWIN portal as government or private COVID-19 Vaccination Centre (CVC) at the workplace. The name of workplace CVC should be recorded in Co-WIN as full name and not as an abbreviation to have clarity."
COVID-19 vaccination at government workplace organised by district health authorities will be free of cost. COVID-19 vaccination organized by private CVC would be on a payment basis and will be at the same rate as of vaccination at a private health facility.
Service charge subject to a ceiling of Rs 100 per person per dose, vaccine cost Rs 150 per person per dose. Hence, the financial ceiling of the total amount recoverable by private health facility is Rs 250 per person per dose, the letter read.
The third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in India was started on April 1 for all citizens aged 45 years or more.
Meanwhile, India has surpassed the United States to become the fastest vaccinating country in the world with an average daily rate of 30,93,861 vaccine doses, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.
According to the ministry, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 8.70 crores today with more than 33 lakh vaccination doses were administered in the last 24 hours.