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Ongoing off-site Covid vaccination camps by private hospitals with approval letters to continue

The state health department had issued an SOP containing a fresh set of guidelines on outreach camps on Saturday

Subhajoy Roy Calcutta Published 29.06.21, 02:11 AM
A queue for the Covid shot at Star theatre on Monday.

A queue for the Covid shot at Star theatre on Monday. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

The ongoing outreach Covid vaccination camps by private hospitals that have approval letters from the health department will continue, a state government official said on Monday.

“We want private hospitals to conduct outreach vaccination camps as that will add pace to the vaccination programme. All such camps that have permission from the state health department will be allowed to go ahead. But we have introduced some additional screening,” state health secretary Narayan Swaroop Nigam said.


The additional checks include physical inspection by the health department before granting permission for any outreach camp.

So far the department used to create a unique name and code for each outreach camp on the CoWIN portal. Now, the health department will issue a formal letter of approval after a screening.

The state health department had on Saturday issued an SOP containing a fresh set of guidelines on outreach vaccination camps. The SOP was issued after it came to light that a man named Debanjan Deb had posed as an IAS officer posted as joint commissioner in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and organised several “Covid vaccination camps” without the mandatory approval of the health department.

Police suspect at least some of the recipients were administered an antibiotic.

The new SOP will help people tell a genuine Covid vaccination camp from a fake one.

Several hospitals are yet to resume their outreach vaccination programmes, awaiting a formal letter from the health department.

The RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences has stalled four outreach vaccination programmes lined up over the next few days. More than 1,500 doses were to be administered at those camps.

“We have told the intended beneficiaries that we need some more time for due diligence from the state government before the approval is given,” said R. Venkatesh, regional director, east, Narayana Health, which runs the RN Tagore hospital.

The AMRI Hospitals group has also decided to keep on hold some of its outreach vaccination camps that were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Eight outreach camps were to be held in workplaces and housing complexes on Tuesday and Wednesday. The health department earlier used to give online approval. Now they will physically inspect the places and give an approval letter that we will display at the sites. We will start these camps on Thursday,” said Rupak Barua, the group CEO of AMRI Hospitals.

Two ongoing outreach camps by AMRI – at South City and Acropolis malls - will continue, though.

Officials running the CMC’s Covid vaccination sites have been asked to ensure that no recipient steps out before a text message confirming that he or she has been vaccinated comes.

If a recipient does not get the text message after vaccination, officials at the centre have to hand him or her a printed copy of the certificate downloaded from the CoWIN portal, an official of the CMC said.

The CMC runs about 190 Covid vaccination sites in the city, which include ward health clinics of the civic body and centres opened only to administer Covid vaccines.

“It was decided at a meeting at the civic headquarters on Monday that all Covid vaccination sites of the CMC will display the name and the unique ID in the waiting area, vaccination room and observation area,” a CMC official said.

“We will provide a vaccination certificate if any recipient does not receive a text message confirming the vaccination status. There have been instances of recipients not getting a text message after vaccination,” said the CMC official.

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