Centre Asks Delhi Govt to Issue Notice to CVCs Over Irregularities
The Union Health Ministry has written a letter about serious lapses by private COVID vaccination centres.
The Centre on Monday, 5 April, wrote to the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government, asking it to check irregularities in vaccination of those below 45-years at private vaccination facilities in the city.
In a letter addressed to the Principal Secretary (Health), Delhi government, the Union Health Ministry flagged serious lapses by private COVID vaccination centres (CVCs) for registering and vaccinating citizens below 45 years, under the category of Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Front Line Workers (FLWs).
The current provisions based on the recommendations of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration only allow for the vaccination of citizens above the age of 45 years and HCWs and FLWs above the age of 18 years.
The Centre has identified Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health, Neuro and Allied Sciences at Nehru Place, North East District of Delhi for flouting the Health Ministry-mandated COVID vaccine guidelines and has asked the Delhi government to issue the hospital a show cause notice with a written explanation within 48 hours.
The Centre reiterated that the vaccination exercise is being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level to protect the most vulnerable population groups.
Flouting Compliance Will Harm Country-wide Vaccination Exercise
The Centre recommended that an appropriate monetary fine may also be imposed on the CVCs as needed. If the response to the notice is found unsatisfactory, the CVCs must be recommended for depanelment, noted the letter.
The Health Ministry has identified samples from Co-WIN data of 19 March to 3 April 2021, and found irregularities. Many beneficiaries allegedly lie outside the ambit of being eligible.
The letter noted that flouting of the vaccine compliances will “harm the countrywide vaccination exercise as eligible beneficiaries may get deprived from vaccination.”
Earlier, based on the Centre’s recommendation, the Delhi government issued a show cause notice to Bensups Hospital in Sector-12 Dwarka, West Delhi for violating COVID guidelines along the same lines of irregularities in vaccine registrations under the category of health and frontline workers.
The Centre closed registrations of healthcare and frontline workers for COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday, 3 April. In an order to all states and UTs, the Health Ministry attributed this decision to emerging reports of fake registrations of ineligible beneficiaries under this category.
Remove COVID Vaccination Age Limit: Kejriwal’s Letter to PM Modi
Meanwhile, on the same day as the Centre’s letter, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sought the removal of the age restrictions for the vaccination in the wake of the sudden surge in COVID cases in the country.
“If the rules for opening new centres are simplified and everyone is allowed to be vaccinated, the Delhi government will be able to inoculate all Delhi residents in three months,” said Kejriwal in his letter.
He suggested two concrete ways to move the vaccine campaign forward: Relaxing the conditions placed by the Centre on the opening of new vaccination centres to allow the government to set up large-scale vaccination units in schools, community centres, and other places, and removing the age restrictions and allowing all, except those who have medical complications, to be vaccinated.
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