Hospitals do not have to follow a fixed schedule so as to vaccinate people against COVID-19 and can extend or advance the vaccination schedule any day, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said this morning.
This will help speed up the vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus, which entered its second phase on Monday.
Flexible schedule applicable to both government, private facilities
"The government has removed time constraint to increase the speed of vaccination. People can get vaccinated 24x7 at their convenience. Prime Minister Narendra Modi understands the value of both time and health of citizens," Dr. Vardhan tweeted in Hindi responding to a report by Dainik Bhaskar in this regard.
The flexible schedule allowed by the government is applicable to both government and private facilities.
Here is the tweet by Dr. Harsh Vardhan
'Co-WIN portal has no 9 am to 5 pm system'
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had also said yesterday that Co-WIN, the online portal being used to register for vaccination, does not have a 9 am to 5 pm system.
"It allows hospitals to vaccinate for as long as they want, even till 8 pm they can vaccinate. They can start as early as 8 am if they want," he said.
It will help reduce overcrowding, says Health Secretary
Another reason cited for the decision is to avoid excessive crowds at the vaccination sites.
"We did not want to divide time into compartments. It can be morning or afternoon, depending on hospital capacity...It is an important feedback that overcrowding is happening. We will make changes in the system to prevent overcrowding at vaccination sites," Bhushan was quoted as saying.
1.56 crore vaccine doses administered across India
The crucial second phase of India's coronavirus vaccination program commenced on Monday and a total of 5.94 lakh people have been reportedly vaccinated since.
Further, the total number of vaccine doses administered so far is 1.56 crore, according to the government data released today.
COVID-19 has infected over 1.11 crore and killed more than 1.57 lakh across the country thus far.