With the extension of COVID-19 vaccination to all citizens aged 45 years or more from 1st April 2021, the Central Government has taken a crucial step to extend the cover of vaccination while easing the exercise for this segment of citizens, a substantial proportion of whom are in the organized sector of the economy and are involved in formal occupation in offices (government and private) or manufacturing and services, etc.
The Health Ministry has written to all States and UTs that COVID-19 vaccination sessions may now be organized at workplaces (both public & private) which are having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries by tagging these workplaces with an existing COVID Vaccination Center (CVC). To support the States in this initiative, guidelines have been prepared and the same have conveyed by the Union Health Secretary to the States and UTs.
States have been further advised to initiate due to consultations with private/public sector employers and management to prepare for the launch of workplace vaccination.
The Union Government of India in constant consultation with State Governments/UT administration continues consistently make efforts to ensure that the vaccination drive is more pragmatic and also more acceptable and purposeful to the beneficiaries.
- The District Task Force (DTF) chaired by the district magistrate and Urban Task Force (UTF) chaired by the municipal commissioner will identify government and private workplaces where Covid-19 vaccination sessions can be conducted.
- The firms’ management will designate one of their senior staff to work as a “nodal officer” to coordinate with district health authorities or private Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) and support vaccination activities. The officer will oversee and facilitate all aspects of vaccination at “Work Place CVC” like registration of beneficiaries, availability of physical and IT infrastructure and oversight to vaccination etc., the health ministry has said.
- Once identified, all such office vaccination centres will be registered in the CoWin portal as government or private COVID-19 Vaccination Centre (CVC) at Work Place.
- In-charges of government or private CVCs with which the ‘Work Place CVCs’ are tagged for Covid-19 vaccination will be responsible to provide vaccine and ensure reporting in CoWin from these offices.
Who is eligible?
- In accordance with the current phase of the vaccination drive, only employees who are aged 45 years or more will be eligible to take the Covid-19 shot at office. No outsiders including eligible family members will be allowed for vaccination at “CVC at Work Place”.
- The employees to wish to get the jab must be registered in CoWin portal prior to vaccination. CVC Nodal Officer will ensure registration of all targeted beneficiaries and the facility of on-spot registration will also be available but only to employees of the workplace, the government has stated.
- COVID-19 vaccination sessions may be organized at Work Places which are having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries (to facilitate optimal utilization of vaccine dosage and reduce wastage) for COVID-19 vaccination. Organizing vaccination at Work Place will not only be convenient to the staff at Work Places but also help to avoid travel and hence reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 virus.
Which vaccines will be administered?
- It has been clarified by the central government that only two type of vaccine will be provided for vaccination sessions at the workplace to avoid any kind of confusions or mixing vaccine types in the first and second dose of a beneficiary.
- Beneficiaries at offices who have already received one dose of a vaccine different from the one being administered at the Work Place CVC shall not be vaccinated at a session in the Work Place CVC. They are expected to get the second dose of the same vaccine at an appropriate COVID vaccination centre. “However, those who have received same vaccine as first dose may be provided second dose at the Work Place CVC,” the health ministry said.
Deployment of Vaccination team at Work Place CVC
- District health authorities will normally deploy the vaccination team at government Work Places. Private CVC will deploy the vaccination team at private Work Places
- One fully trained vaccination team will be assigned to vaccinate 100 beneficiaries at Work Place CVC. Additional teams shall be deployed in case work load is more than 100 beneficiaries and if sufficient space for vaccination is available (refer annexure 1).
- The management of Work Place will be responsible for arranging adequate rooms / space for vaccination (waiting room, vaccination room and observation room)
- Each team will consist of:
- Team leader (necessarily a doctor),
- Vaccinator (authorized to give injections),
- Vaccination Officer-1 to work as verifier to work on CoWIN and
- Vaccination officers-2 & 3 for crowd management and AEFI observation
- Role of individual team members are defined as refer annexure 2.
How much will the Covid-19 vaccine cost?
- The Covid-19 immunisation at government offices organised by district health authorities will be free of cost while that by private CVC would be on a payment basis and will be at the same rate as of vaccination at a private health facility.
- They are allowed to take service charge subject to a ceiling of ₹100 /- per person per dose and a vaccine cost of ₹150/- per person per dose. “Hence, the financial ceiling of the total amount recoverable by private health facility is INR 250/- per person per dose”, the health ministry said.