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Covid-19 vaccination at malls, schools, RWAs? Yes, say healthcare providers

The set of recommendations submitted by NATHEALTH to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and NITI Aayog include setting up of vaccination centres in malls, schools, airports, resident welfare association centres

Covid-19 vaccination at malls, schools, RWAs? Yes, say healthcare providers

A representative body of private healthcare industry, NATHEALTH-Healthcare Federation of India, has suggested inclusion of accredited diagnostic labs and home care and specialty providers for setting up temporary vaccination centres and inoculating the elderly at home.

The set of recommendations submitted by NATHEALTH to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and NITI Aayog also include setting up of vaccination centres in malls, schools, airports, resident welfare association centres in addition to large corporations with space and staff facilities.

"In order to win the battle against COVID, India's strategy must continuously evolve in the fields of vaccination, diagnostics, contact tracing, tracking, sero-surveillance, data analysis, and communication advocacy to overcome the challenges in a dynamic COVID environment. India has 2,000 labs for COVID testing now and keeping in mind the unprecedented second wave of the pandemic, we must focus on increasing the coverage of the vaccination drive and continue large scale testing in the states which are reporting high number of cases,"  Dr. Harsh Mahajan President, NATHEALTH and Founder and Chief Radiologist, Mahajan Imaging said.

Also read: Need for equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines, says Sitharaman at G20 meet

According to Mahajan, the infrastructure built by private diagnostics labs in the 1st wave of the pandemic can be utilised for this purpose.

"The phlebotomists at any accredited diagnostic laboratory chain are well-trained to inoculate the population with utmost compliance under the supervision of MBBS doctors. Home healthcare service providers and certified diagnostic labs in India have the required infrastructure and trained medical professionals to vaccinate. This will definitely help increase the coverage of the vaccination drive effectively in tier 2 and tier 3 geographies. The private sector has supported the Government in the fight against the pandemic and these recommendations submitted by NATHEALTH is an effort to further lend active support to the Government," he said, adding that, "the home healthcare industry and diagnostics sector with other service providers like pharmacies are looking forward to collaborate with the Government to accelerate their vaccination program at the community level."

Also read: PM Modi to meet CMs today to discuss COVID-19 surge, vaccination drive

NATHEALTH points out that the temporary vaccine centres set up in schools, malls, hotels/dormitories, airports, and large corporate houses can follow the standard operating procedures and operational guidelines of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, and facilitate vaccine storage, handling, administration and documentation.

The entire process will be similar to that being followed at hospitals, including registration on CoWIN, involving only those nurses who have been specifically trained on COVID19 vaccination administration, infection control protocols and standards, it says. Meanwhile, the central government has decided to permit companies to carry out Covid-19 vaccination at workplaces from April 11.

Also read: 'Deplorable attempts by some states': Harsh Vardhan on Maharashtra's vaccine shortage claim

Also read: Maharashtra closes 109 centres, Odisha 700 due to vaccine 'shortage'

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