COVID-19: Vaccination at workplaces from Sunday

Image for representation only. File/Reuters

New Delhi: The Central government has decided to allow government and private establishments to hold vaccination sessions for employees aged 45 and above at their workplaces from Sunday, April 11.

The sessions could be held if there are at least 100 willing beneficiaries in the specified age group.

The Union Ministry of Health decided to hold such vaccination sessions in a bid to outpace the second wave of COVID-19 and to make the vaccine more accessible.

India reported 1,26,227 new SARS-nCoV-2 positive cases on Wednesday, the biggest single-day spike so far. As many as 684 deaths were also reported. In Kerala, samples from 3,502 people tested positive.

While it will be free of cost in government establishments, private firms may charge up to Rs 250 a dose, as in the case of private hospitals.

Vaccination at workplaces could commence once at least 50 employees register themselves to be inoculated. However, authorities concerned should be informed 15 days in advance.

The Ministry of Health had been adamant on providing the vaccine only through vaccination centres till a week ago. The surge in COVID-19 positive cases made the ministry to change its stance.

COVID-19 in Kerala

The Centre earlier rejected a proposal to vaccinate octogenarians and above aged at their residences. The governments of Maharashtra and Rajasthan had mooted the plan.

The decision to administer vaccines to employees at their places of work would help in inoculating more people against the virus, besides preventing the possibility of getting infected while travelling to the vaccination centres.

It may be noted that the vaccination-at-workplace facility would be set up in sectors with employees mostly aged between 45 and 59.

Important points from the guidelines:

• Permission to hold vaccination sessions at the workplace should be obtained from the district task force headed by respective Collectors. The head of the office may hold discussions in this regard with the task force. On receiving the permission, the establishment should register itself as a vaccination centre on the Co-Win portal.

• A senior official of the respective establishment should be appointed as the nodal officer to oversee the registration and setting up of adequate facilities

• The vaccination sessions are exclusively for the employees aged 45 and above. Outsiders, including family members, won’t be allowed.

• The beneficiaries/employees should also register themselves on the Co-Win portal. The facility should have separate, proper rooms for waiting, injection, observation and other facilities. Temporary facilities such as awnings, won’t be allowed

• If the establishment concerned has a hospital or clinic, it could be used for conducting the vaccination session.

• The session will be held by tagging the establishment with the nearest vaccination centre. These centres will provide the vaccine.

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