In a bid to increase the pace of Covid-19 vaccination in the country, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said henceforth people can get vaccinated round-the-clock according to their convenience.
Prior to this the coronavirus jabs were being administered from 9 am to 5 pm. However, taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Vardhan said that Centre had decided to lift the time restriction adding that hospitals can choose to administer the vaccines even after 5 pm.
The second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive is currently underway in the country. People aged 60 years and more and those above 45, who suffer from comorbidities, were included in the vaccination drive on March 1. Prior to this, the Centre had vaccinated healthcare and frontline workers.
“The government has lifted the time restriction to increase the speed of vaccination. People can now get vaccinated 24×7 according to their convenience. Prime Minister Narendra Modi understands the value of health as well as the time of citizens,” Vardhan tweeted in Hindi.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told a press conference on Tuesday that the timeline of vaccinating the beneficiaries from 9 am to 5 pm has been done away with and it is up to the hospitals to decide whether they want to continue administering the vaccines even after that.
“Co-WIN 2.0 does not provide 9 am-5 pm vaccination sessions. It has done away with that timeline. If a hospital has the capacity, the system permits it to do vaccination even after 5 pm in consultation with the state government. This has been briefed both to the state governments as well as the private and government hospitals,” he said.
The second dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 was administered from February 13 for those who had completed 28 days since the receipt of the first dose. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2.
More than 1.56 crore (1,56,20,749) vaccine doses were administered in the country through 3,12,188 sessions, according to a provisional report till Wednesday 7 am.
The beneficiaries include 67,42,187 healthcare workers (first dose), 27,13,144 HCWs (second dose), 55,70,230 FLWs (first dose), 834 FLWs (second dose), 71,896 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (first dose) and 5,22,458 beneficiaries aged above 60 years.
(With PTI inputs)