Vaccination in Mumbai: Only on-site registration for HCWs and FLWs irks health experts

From now onwards leftover healthcare and frontline workers will have to do on-site registration at the government vaccine centres for the vaccination drive. This comes after the Centre learnt that many of the ineligible beneficiaries were taking vaccine shots. The government has now directed all the states to conduct a registration process at government vaccine centres with the appropriate employment certificates.

However, health experts have not welcomed this move stating it is like giving punishment to them for not taking the vaccine and if someone is taking vaccine being a healthcare or frontline then the hospital is at fault then action should be taken against them.

In a communique to states and union territories (UTs) on Monday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on-site registration facility for "genuinely leftover" healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs) will be available only at government COVID vaccinations centres (CVCs).

The Centre on Saturday had conveyed to states and UTs that no fresh registration of HCWs and FLWs will be allowed with immediate effect since some ineligible beneficiaries were getting their names enlisted and getting inoculated under this category in violation of guidelines.

“Please refer to my letter dated 3rd April, 2021, vide which, in view of vaccination of ineligible beneficiaries in the name of HCWs or FLWs at some CVCs, in complete violation of the prescribed guidelines, the decision of the NEGVAC that, no fresh registration in the categories of HCWs and FLWs will be allowed, has been communicated,” read the circular

"In continuation of the said guidance, following additional directions are issued for vaccination of HCWs or FLWs, aged from 18 years to 44 years: On-site registration facility for genuinely leftover HCWs or FLWs will henceforth be available only in the government CVCs," he said.

Dr. Deepak Baid, former president, Association of Medical Consultant said the Centre should have allowed the HCWs and FLWs to take vaccine either at government or private vaccine centres as it will save their time in reaching the centre and can take it according to the schedule so that the patients are not affected. “The decision is wrong as the centre should think of all aspects before coming to the conclusion. They have given an example of beneficiaries taking vaccine being HCWs and FLWs due to which they have issued the order of on-site registration at government vaccine centres for leftover beneficiaries. But it is the fault of the hospital action should be taken against them and not forcing an order to vaccinate at government centres,” he said.

He further said due to this order many HCWs and FLWs will skip vaccination as the workload has increased due to a surge in covid cases and at this time leaving the hospital and travelling for more than two hours for taking vaccines will be a waste of time.

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