The Centre on Wednesday met officials of states and Union Territories to review the vaccination process, which will enter its third stage on April 1. All citizens above the age of 45 will be eligible to get the shots from Thursday.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, who chaired the meeting, asked states to ensure vaccine wastage is kept under 1%, as compared to the current national figure of 6%, according to a health ministry official. National Health Authority chief RS Sharma said that there was no value in conserving vaccines for the second dose and asked states to provide them to hospitals. The Centre assured states that there was no shortage of vaccines and that they would be replenished with stocks when needed, the health ministry said.
The states were also asked to identify low vaccine coverage pockets, especially in districts which have shown a surge in cases in the last few days.
As for vaccinating healthcare workers and front-line workers, the Centre advised states to ensure that only eligible beneficiaries were registered and to archive incorrect and duplicate entries on the CoWIN platform.
Earlier this month, the Centre had announced the third phase of vaccination, which will begin on Tuesday amid a second wave of the pandemic in several parts of the country. India had begun the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines on January 16, with a target of inoculating 30 crore people by July.
Till 9.15 pm on Wednesday, more than 6.38 crore vaccine shots have been administered in India, while over 87.4 lakh people have received both doses, according to the official data.