Centre allows COVID-19 vaccinations at workplaces; check guidelines here
The central government on Wednesday allowed COVID-19 vaccinations at workplaces with 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries. This inoculation drive will be launched on April 11 and the Centre has asked states and union territories to make preparations for the same. The move comes as India is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 infections, reporting a record single-day spike earlier this morning.
'Substantial proportion of population aged 45-59 employed in organized sector'
Guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry state that a "substantial proportion of population aged between 45-59 years (in some cases up to 65 years) are in the organized sector of the economy." Under India's nationwide vaccination drive, people aged over 45 are eligible to be vaccinated. States/UTs have been asked to initiate consultations with private and public sector employers for the drive.
How will workplace vaccination centers be indentified?
The District Task Force (DTF) chaired by District Magistrate and Urban Task Force (UTF) chaired by Municipal Commissioner will identify government and private workplaces after deliberations with employers. The workplace management will designate one of their senior staff members to work as "nodal officer" and coordinate with district health authorities/private COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs). The workplace nodal officer will oversee all aspects of vaccination.
Only employees aged over 45 allowed for vaccination; no outsiders
Only employees aged over 45 will be eligible for vaccination. No outsiders, including family members, will be allowed for vaccination at the workplace. The beneficiaries must be registered on the Co-WIN portal. On-the-spot registration will also be available for employees.
Workplace CVCs must be tagged to designated health facilities
Once identified, the workplaces will be listed on Co-WIN as Workplace CVCs. DTF/UTF will ensure the verification of the availability of three rooms as waiting, vaccination, and observation rooms at Workplace CVCs. Every government workplace CVC will be tagged to an existing and nearest government CVC, and every private workplace CVC will be tagged to an existing and nearest private CVC.
Vaccination planning should begin after at least 50 beneficiaries register
The designated government/private CVCs will be in charge of planning sessions at the workplace CVCs. Planning shall commence only after at least 50 beneficiaries have registered at a workplace CVC. Workplaces with existing health infrastructure and healthcare workers may utilize these resources for COVID-19 vaccination activities. The existing health staff will have to be trained by the designated government/private CVCs.
Vaccination team at Workplace CVC:
Vaccination teams for each CVC must include a team leader (necessarily a doctor), a vaccinator (authorized to give injections), Vaccination Officer-1 (to work as a verifier to work on Co-WIN), and Vaccination officers-2 and 3 (for crowd management and AEFI observation).
Preparations for adverse events:
To ensure preparedness for any adverse event following immunization (AEFI), Workplace CVCs must have a medical officer as supervisor. They must also have an anaphylaxis kit for the management of any adverse event. They must be linked to a nearest health facility (AEFI Management Center) in case of referral for medical management post-vaccination. A basic life support (BLS) ambulance must also be deployed.
How much will the vaccinations cost?
COVID-19 vaccination at government Workplace CVCs organized by district health authorities will be free of cost. COVID-19 vaccination organized by private Workplace CVCs will be paid and the rates would be the same as the private facility to which the Workplace CVC is attached.
Only 1 vaccine will be available at each CVC
Only one type of vaccine—Covishield or COVAXIN—will be available at a Workplace CVC to avoid mixing in first and second doses. Beneficiaries who have already received the first dose of a vaccine different than the one available will not be vaccinated at Workplace CVCs. Verification will be done by Vaccination Officer-1 preferably using Aadhaar, or a Voter ID, Passport, driving license, PAN Card, etc.
District, Urban task forces to plan random monitoring
District and Urban task forces will plan random monitoring at the Workplace CVCs to ensure adherence to standard operating procedures for vaccination, including verification of beneficiaries to ensure only eligible beneficiaries are vaccinated; training status of human resources; and AEFI management.