No fresh registrations of healthcare workers for Covid vaccination: Centre

COVID, April 4: The Centre directed states and Union Territories (UTs) to stop fresh registrations for Covid vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) and healthcare workers (FLWs) with immediate effect.

Registration of the healthcare and frontline workers will stop, however, they will continue to get vaccination against Covid.

In the letter accessed by India Today, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the reason to do so was to prevent “ineligible beneficiaries in this category” from getting their names enlisted and getting inoculated against Covid-19 in violation of the guidelines.

Bhushan said that registration of persons aged 45 years and above will continue to be permitted on the Co-WIN portal and asked states and UTs to ensure universal vaccination of already registered HCWs and FLWs at the earliest.

While tracking the progress, the timeline for completing vaccination of all HCWs and FLWs with the first dose of COVID-19 the vaccine has been extended multiple times and was finally fixed on February 25 for HCWs and March 6 for FLWs, Bhushan said.

Around one month has elapsed since these timelines and even after starting the vaccination of the population above 60 years, provision was made to register and vaccinate HCWs and FLWs with a view to ensure optimal coverage, he underlined.

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Bhushan added that various inputs have been received that indicate that people are getting the vaccine incomplete ‘violation of the prescribed guidelines.’

This issue was discussed with state representatives and domain knowledge experts in the NEGVAC meeting today, and as per the recommendation of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC), it has been decided that no fresh registrations in categories of HCWs and FLWs will be allowed with immediate effect. Registrations of persons aged 45 years and above will continue to be permitted on the CoWIN portal,” he said in the letter.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with HCWs getting inoculated and the vaccination of FLWs started from February 2.