The Jharkhand government has started coordinating with private hospitals, especially those registered under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, to start preparations for vaccination of senior citizens and middle-aged people suffering from comorbid conditions against Covid-19 from March 1, officials said on Thursday.
While the state is yet to receive the modalities for the second phase of the immunization programme, the state health department has enrolled health workers from private hospitals across the state for training sessions on February 27 and February 28, state immunization officer Dr Ajit Prasad said.
“Healthcare workers in private hospitals will be trained on February 27 and 28 for the immunization programme. We are yet to receive the SOP for the next phase of the vaccination programme from the Centre, but identification of beneficiaries and other preparations have begun,” said Dr Prasad.
The Union ministry of health and family welfare has announced that people above the age of 60 and those suffering from comorbid conditions at the age of 45 years or above will be vaccinated in the second phase of the nationwide immunization programme starting March 1.
Beneficiaries will have to download the Co-Win App and register online for the vaccination, the ministry stated. The vaccine will be provided free of cost at government healthcare centres but those getting the vaccine at private hospitals will have to pay for it. However, the government is yet to finalise a price for vaccination against Covid-19 virus at private facilities.
Representatives of various private hospitals under the banner of Association of Healthcare Providers (AHPI) met state health secretary K.K. Soan and pledged complete support to the government during the second phase of the vaccination programme.
State National Health Mission (NHM) director Ravi Shankar Shukla said the Centre was likely to share the SOP within a couple of days. “As of now, we are focused on the immunization of healthcare workers and frontline workers. We will be in a position to comment on the modalities only after we receive clear instructions from the Centre,” he said.
As per government data, more than 2.39 lakh healthcare workers and frontline workers have been administered the first dose of the Covishield vaccine in Jharkhand since the beginning of the immunization programme on January 16. The second dose has been administered to 17,711 people at least 28 days after they got the first jab. So far, the state has achieved around 75 per cent of its vaccination target.