Adults above the age of 45 in India can now get vaccinated at their workplaces from April 9, as the Union Health Secretary has written to states and Union Territories to prepare to launch vaccination centres at places of work. The government has said that this move is being implemented as a substantial proportion of the population aged 45 years and above — who are currently eligible to get vaccinated in India — is in the organized sector of the economy and is involved in formal occupation in offices (government and private) or manufacturing and services, etc.
“..in order to increase the access of vaccine to these populations, COVID-19 vaccination sessions may be organized at Work Places (both public & private) which are having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries by tagging the workplaces with an existing COVID Vaccination Center (CVC),” the letter written by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan states.
States and Union Territories have been asked to initiate due consultations with private and public sector employers and managements to prepare for the launch of workplace vaccination. Such workplace vaccination centres may be launched across states and UTs from April 11, 2021, the Health Secretary has said.
Several states had written to the Health Ministry asking for the vaccination drive in India to be opened for all. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took to Twitter to say that every Indian deserves the chance at a safe life.
"It's ridiculous to debate needs & wants. Every Indian deserves the chance to a safe life. #CovidVaccine." he said.
Rahul Gandhi's comment came in the wake of the Health Secretary on Tuesday saying that the aim of holding the vaccination drive in phases is to administer the vaccine to those who need it and not those who want it.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at the weekly press conference had said, “The basic aim is to reduce death through vaccination. The other aim is to protect your healthcare system. If healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics and others fall sick, who will work in hospitals? So the aim of any country is to protect those who are the most vulnerable. The aim is never to administer the vaccine to those who want it but to those who need it.”
India on Wednesday recorded 1,15,736 new Covid-19 cases, the biggest-ever single-day surge since the onset of the pandemic early last year, taking the overall tally to 12,801,785. Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have shown a steep rise in the daily new cases.
The Central Government has rushed 50 high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams to 50 districts across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab in view of the recent very large numbers of daily new COVID-19 cases and daily mortalities being consistently reported by these states.
With IANS inputs