Centre issues guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination centres near homes for elderly and differently-abled citizens
FP pics by Anand Shivre

In a bid to make COVID-19 vaccination easier for the elderly and differently abled citizens, the Centre has issued guidelines for Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centres (NHCVC) for 60 plus and differntly abled. The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended the proposal by a Technical Expert Committee of the Union Ministry on the guidelines for Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centres (NHCVC) for Elderly & Differently Abled Citizens.

The NHCVC would follow a community-based, flexible and people-centric approach, bringing the COVID-19 vaccination centres nearer to homes. The Technical Expert Committee's are aimed to ensure vaccination of Senior Citizens and Differently Abled population having limited mobility due to their physical condition.

These Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centres will be organized specially for the below mentioned eligible population while vaccination for all other age groups will continue at the existing vaccination centres.

Following people will be eligible for NHCVC:

  • All individuals above 60 years age with no vaccination or first dose vaccination.

  • All individuals below 60 years with disability due to physical or medical conditions.

In the same regards, the Centre has communicated the following guidelines to all the states and UTs:

1. A community-based approach to be followed where sessions can be conducted in non-health facility based settings and are nearer to home, e.g. in a community centre, RWA centre/office, panchayat ghar, school buildings, old age homes etc.

2. Based on the cohort of eligible population, District Task Force (DTF) / Urban Task Force (UTF) will decide the location of NHCVC to maximize the reach of services to the target population, reduce vaccine wastage along with causing minimal impact on the existing health services.

3. NHCVC will be linked to an existing CVC for vaccination purpose; the CVC in-charge will be responsible to provide vaccine, logistics and human resources required for vaccination.

4. The site for NHCVC will be pre-identified in collaboration with community groups and RWAs. Such sites could be at Panchayat Bhawan, Sub-Health Centres and Health & Wellness Centres with availability of adequate space, Community Halls, RWA Premises, Polling Booths, Schools etc. and should to have a Vaccination Room and a Waiting Area with appropriate access for the target group, for example ramp for wheel chair access and Observation Room to ensure waiting for 30 minutes post vaccination as per MoHFW Operational Guidelines.

5. Once identified and verified for meeting CVC criteria, all such sites will be registered on the CoWIN portal as NHCVC.

6. DTF /UTF will be responsible for planning and implementation of vaccination at the NHCVC, with full flexibility to adjust the proposed plan as per local circumstances and need.

7. Each team at NHCVC will comprise of five members – Team Leader (necessarily a Doctor), Vaccinator, Vaccination Officer 1 for Co-WIN registration and/or verification of beneficiary, and Vaccination Officer-2 and 3 for crowd control, assistance to vaccinator, ensuring 30 minutes observation of beneficiaries following vaccination for any AEFI and any other support.

8. In a scenario where there is a group of target beneficiaries under one roof like Old Age Home etc., the NHCVC can be organized at that site as per the Operational Guidelines.

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