Centre to allow COVID-19 vaccination at workplaces having 100 eligible beneficiaries from 11 April
Only employees aged 45 years or more will be eligible for vaccination at workplaces and no outsiders will be allowed
The Union government will allow COVID-19 vaccination at both public and private workplaces with about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries aged 45 years and above from 11 April. The Centre has asked states and Union Territories to prepare for the launch of such workplace vaccination.
According to news agency PTI, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to the chief secretaries said a substantial proportion of the 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 workplaces (both public and private) which are having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries by tagging these workplaces 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 workplace vaccination centres may be launched across states/Union Territories from 11 April, 2021," he said.
The Centre has asked states and Union Territories to make adequate preparations and issued guidelines in this regard.
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) April 7, 2021
According to the government's guidance note, workplace vaccination sessions may be organised to facilitate optimal utilization of vaccine dosage and reduce wastage. "Organizing vaccination at the workplace will not only be convenient to the staff at workplaces but also help to avoid travel and hence reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 virus," it said.
According to the guidelines, only employees aged 45 years or more will be eligible for vaccination at workplaces and no outsiders including eligible family members will be allowed for vaccination.
One of the senior staff of the organisation will be assigned to work as nodal officer to coordinate with district health authorities/ private COVID vaccination centres (CVCs) and support vaccination activities.
The beneficiaries will be required to register in Co-WIN portal prior to vaccination and CVC nodal officer will ensure registration of all targeted beneficiaries and facility of on-the-spot registration will also be available but only to employees of the workplace, the guidelines said.
Once identified, the workplace COVID-19 vaccination centres will also have to register on the Co-WIN portal as government or private CVC at workplace.
For optimal utilisation of resources, vaccination sessions will be planned at workplace CVC once at least 50 beneficiaries get registered for vaccination.
"The schedule of vaccination sessions can be made up to 15 days in advance and intimated to the workplaces so that maximum attendance is ensured on the day of vaccination. In most of the workplaces vaccination schedules may, however, be completed in less than 15 days," the Centre told states and union territories in the guidelines.
The District Task Force chaired by district magistrate and Urban Task Force chaired by municipal commissioner will identify such government and private workplaces after due deliberations with relevant employers.
Every CVC in a government workplace will be tagged to an existing and nearest CVC in the government medical facility while every CVC in a private workplace will be tagged to an existing and nearest CVC in the private medical facility.
The designated government and private CVC to whom the workplace CVC has been tagged will be responsible for the deployment of the vaccination team at workplace CVCs.
All government and private CVCs are already linked to some cold chain points for receiving vaccines. "These CVCs will continue to use the same mechanism to receive the vaccine needed for vaccination at tagged workplace CVC," the guidelines said.
"Some of the work places may have health infrastructure in form of hospitals, health clinics, nursing centers, etc. This infrastructure may be utilized to set-up vaccination site in case sufficient space for waiting, vaccination and observation rooms are available," the guidelines stated.
The healthcare workers of this health infrastructure of the workplace CVCs (such as doctors, nurses and other staff) may be deployed for the COVID-19 vaccination activities at workplaces as vaccination team members, it said.
The workplace CVCs staff engaged in COVID-19 vaccination activities will follow the same SOPs for vaccination and reporting including management and reporting of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). The government has also spelled out the requirements for AEFI management at the workplace CVCs.
In order to avoid mixing of vaccine types in first and second dose, only one type of vaccine will be provided at such sessions that are conducted at the workplaces.
While the anti- Coronavirus vaccination at government workplaces organised by district health authorities will be free of cost, inoculation organised by private CVC would be on payment basis and will be charged the same rate as that for vaccination at private health facility (Rs 250 per person per dose).
With inputs from PTI
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