Beating Covid: Vaccinations at the Workplace
On 1 April 2021, the central government extended the vaccination campaign to those aged 45 years and above, based on the advice of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC). Since many within the age bracket of 45-58 (and in some cases till 65) are engaged in the formal sector, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has allowed vaccinations at the workplace for organisations with 100 or more eligible and willing recipients.
Salient features of the guidelines are as following:
The District Task Force (DTF) chaired by District Magistrate and Urban Task Force (UTF) chaired by Municipal Commissioner will identify such government and private workplaces eligible for vaccination.
A senior staffer may be appointed as the nodal officer by the organisation to coordinate logistics with the district health officials or private Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) and provide support in vaccination activities.
The appointed nodal officer will facilitate all aspects of workplace vaccination, including registering recipients, ensuring availability of physical and IT infrastructure and oversight to vaccination.
Only employees aged 45 years or more will be eligible for vaccination at the workplace. The eligible employees must also be registered on the Co-WIN portal prior to vaccination.
All workplace vaccination centres will be registered on the CoWIN portal either as government or private Covid-19 Vaccination Centre (CVC) at workplace. The name of the workplace must be recorded in full to ensure clarity.
The DTF or UTF will ensure verification of availability of three rooms as waiting, vaccination and observation rooms at the workplace. The rooms should be part of the permanent structure of the workplace or proper and stable structure like hangars should be erected. Temporary structure should not be used.
Government and private workplace CVCs will be tagged to their nearest government and private CVCs, respectively. These CVCs will be responsible for vaccine deployment and at the workplace CVC. For optimal utilisation of resources, vaccination session will be planned at workplace CVC once at least 50 beneficiaries get registered for vaccination.
The schedule of vaccination session can be made up to 15 days in advance and intimated to the workplace so that maximum attendance is ensured on the day of vaccination. In most of the workplaces, vaccination schedule may, however, be completed in fewer than 15 days.
Workplaces with health infrastructures such as hospitals, nursing homes or clinics may utilise this infrastructure during the vaccination drive. Health staff at these establishments may also be employed in the vaccination procedure provided they have undergone training from the tagged government or private CVC.
A fully trained vaccination team will be assigned to vaccinate 100 beneficiaries at the workplace CVC. It will comprise a team leader (necessarily a doctor), a vaccinator (authorised to give injections), a vaccination officer-1 to work as verifier on CoWIN and vaccination officers-2 and 3 for crowd management and to ensure Adverse Effects Following Immunization (AEFI) observation.
Additional teams may be deployed in case there are more than 100 recipients and if sufficient space for vaccination is available. The workplace management will be responsible for arranging adequate rooms and space for vaccination.
Workplace CVCs must have a medical officer as supervisor or team leader. They must also maintain an anaphylaxis kit for management of any adverse event and will be linked to the nearest health facility (AEFI management centre) less than an hour away in case of referral for medical management post vaccination that may be required. A basic life support (BLS) ambulance must also be deployed at the workplace CVC and should be utilised to shift recipient to the linked AEFI management centre, should the need arise.
All workplace CVCs will only offer one type of vaccine to ensure there is no confusion. Those who have already received the first dose of another vaccine will not be eligible for vaccination at the workplace CVC.
COVID 19 vaccination at government workplace organised by district health authorities will be free of cost.
Covid-19 vaccination organized by private CVC would be on payment basis and will be at same rate as of vaccination at private health facility.
Service charge subject to a ceiling of INR 100/- per person per dose,
Vaccine cost INR 150/- per person per dose.
Hence, the financial ceiling of the total amount recoverable by private health facility is INR 250/- per person per dose.
Full details of the guidelines may be found here.