Indian Govt directs states, UTs to focus on second dose of vaccine

The Central government on Tuesday asked all states and Union Territories (UTs) to focus on second dose of vaccination in the light of adequate availability of Covid vaccines. The Union Health Ministry said a sizeable number of beneficiaries who are eligible have not received their second vaccine dose. The states and UTs should focus on the second dose.

As the country is close to administering a billion vaccine doses, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan discussed and reviewed the mass vaccination drive across the country virtually with Health Secretaries and National Health Mission Managing Directors of states and UTs.

Underlining states and UT’s efforts to achieve landmark vaccination coverage, he said many states have adequate doses to vaccinate those who are awaiting their second dose. He said the Central government can provide additional vaccine doses to the states/UTs to improve the momentum and accelerate the vaccination drive.

The Union Health Ministry has asked states and UTs to identify and prioritize districts having low coverage for focused action and explore requirement for mobilisation efforts, addressing local challenges, need for additional Covid vaccination centres and improving access in rural areas.

The Union Health Ministry has issued various Standard Operating Procedures over the last one year for international travel. The Ministry is in consultation with all stakeholders, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of External Affairs to review the guidelines for international travel. The Ministry has asked states and UTs to share their suggestions on international travel.

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