Covid-19: Vaccination drive at office premises to begin from Sunday
A workplace with at least 100 employees willing to get vaccinated and three rooms to spare will be able to organise a Covid vaccination camp on its premises from Sunday, a guideline issued by the Centre on Wednesday said.
Taking the vaccination drive to offices was being discussed since everyone above 45 was made eligible for the Covid shot on April 1. Vaccination on office premises will help cover a large number of people between 45 and 59.
A letter from the Union health ministry to the state government on Wednesday mentioned that “Workplace vaccination centres may be launched across states/UTs (Union Territories) from 11th April 2021”.
“Covid-19 vaccination sessions may be organised at workplaces which are having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries…. Organising vaccination at workplace will not only be convenient to the staff at workplaces but also help to avoid travel and hence reducing the risk of exposure to Covid-19 virus,” the guideline says.
An office willing to organise a vaccination camp on its premises must have three rooms to spare.
“In the first room recipients will wait for their turn and their papers will be verified. The next room is the vaccination room. In the third room — observation room — all recipients have to wait for 30 minutes post-vaccination,” said an official managing vaccination programmes in Calcutta.
The guidelines mention that the “rooms should be part of the permanent structure of the workplace or proper and stable structures like hangars should be erected. Temporary shamiyana/tent like structures should not be used.”
A “basic life-support ambulance” should be present on the office premises when vaccination will be under way.
If a workplace has a clinic or hospital of its own, the doctors, nurses and other staff there can be trained to form the vaccination team, which will comprise five members. One of the members of the vaccination team should be a doctor.
The official in charge of the Covid vaccination centre will be responsible to train the doctor, nurses and other staff from the company’s hospital or clinic in vaccination.
The guidelines issued on Wednesday, and available on the ministry of health and family welfare’s website, also mention that the workplace should assign “one of their senior staff” to work as nodal officer, who will coordinate with the Covid vaccination centre that will vaccinate the company’s employees.
The person will also be responsible for “registration of beneficiaries”, and “availability of physical and IT infrastructure”.
According to the guideline, a private Covid vaccination centre (CVC) will hold vaccination sessions at a private company. For government offices, government CVCs will be responsible for the task.
“District health authorities will normally deploy the vaccination team at government workplaces. Private CVC will deploy vaccination team at private workplaces,” the guideline adds. A session can be organised only when there are at least 50 people registered to take doses in that session, the guideline states.
Following the Centre’s nod to hold vaccination on office premises, some private hospitals started discussions with private corporations.
“We are having discussions with various corporate bodies and are expecting to get some confirmation in the next few days. We will begin with organising sessions at one or two offices in a day. Planning vaccination sessions in workplaces will be easier because we would know beforehand how many beneficiaries are listed in a workplace on any day,” said R. Venkatesh, the regional head (east), Narayana Health, the owners of the Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences.
Rupak Barua, the group chief executive officer of AMRI Hospitals, said they have had discussions with 12 private companies about vaccinating their staff on their premises.
“We will send our officials to see if the premises have the adequate infrastructure to set up a vaccination centre there. We are having discussions with about 12 companies,” he said.