Ministry of Finance

NATIONAL COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAMME MEETS ITS GOALS BY OVERCOMING R&D AND LOGISTICAL CHALLENGES, SAYS ECONOMIC SURVEY 2022-23


UNDER THE PROGRAMME, MORE THAN 220 CRORE COVID VACCINE DOSES ADMINISTRED AS ON 6 JANUARY 2023

97 PER CENT OF ELIGIBLE BENEFICIARIES RECEIVE AT LEAST ONE DOSE OF COVID-19 VACCINE

90 PER CENT OF ELIGIBLE BENEFICIARIES RECEIVE BOTH THE DOSES

CO-WIN SYSTEM PROVIDES END-TO-END SOLUTION WITH UTILITIES FOR ENTIRE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM

CO-WIN PLATFORM PROVIDES REAL-TIME STOCK TRACKING AT THE NATIONAL, STATE, AND DISTRICT LEVELS; HELPS PLUG WASTAGE OF COVID-19 VACCINES

Posted On: 31 JAN 2023 1:29PM by PIB Delhi

Elaborating on success story of India’s National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, the Economic Survey 2022-23, tabled by Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, says that as on 6 January 2023, India has been able to administer more than 220 crore Covid vaccine doses across the country. 97 per cent of eligible beneficiaries have already received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and around 90 per cent of eligible beneficiaries have received both the doses. Vaccination for the age group 12-14 years was started on 16 March 2022, followed by the precautionary dose for the age group 18-59 years starting from 10 April 2022. Also, 22.4 crore precautionary doses have been administered, added the Survey further.

India’s National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, which is the world’s largest vaccination programme, began on 16 January 2021, initially with the aim of covering the adult population of the country in the shortest possible time. The programme was expanded to include all persons aged 12 years and above and for the precautionary dose for all persons aged 18 years and above.

The introduction of Covid-19 vaccines entailed many challenges such as research and development for new Covid vaccines, training of more than 2.6 lakh vaccinators and 4.8 lakh other vaccination team members, optimum utilisation of available vaccine, difficult-to reach population, and the need to ensure all essential health services along with scaling up of vaccination programme. In addition, logistical challenges such as storage and decentralised distribution of vaccines across 29,000 cold chain points, augmenting cold chain capacity, and developing IT platform for registering the beneficiaries and vaccine service delivery, were also noticed. The programme was able to overcome these challenges and meet its goals within a short time frame.

             

Co-WIN: A successful digital story of vaccination

The Economic Survey highlighted that the present administration of more than 220 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses was made possible because of the robust digital infrastructure of Co-WIN. It was this broad interlock of digital framework and the Government’s vigour of continuously improving its outreach for better inclusion that India could register a quick and durable economic recovery while continuing to secure both lives and livelihoods. With more than 84.7 crore Co-WIN beneficiaries seeded with Aadhaar among the total 104 crore (between January 2021 to September 2022), the seeds of JAM sown in FY15 proved to be a life saver for the nation.

The Economic Survey observes that the history of vaccines and vaccinations in India takes us back to 1802 when the first dose of vaccine was registered for smallpox.  Tracing the medical history of the vaccines during those times was a rigorous task. However, in the contemporary scenario, we have substantially progressed in the digital journey, and most medical science searches are a ‘click’ away. Also, even before Covid arrived, India had laid down the strategy for mass vaccination as year-long programmes were running for several other diseases. Over the years, the government focused on digital health service delivery by imbibing the basic philosophy of “Antyodaya”. However, the need for end-to-end digitisation in the vaccination process was felt as this was the only way to achieve herd immunity during the pandemic. While many economies had to develop a model from scratch, India was in a comfortable position. Thanks to the Government’s vision of the JAM trinity, the critical challenge was addressed in a time-bound manner through Co-WIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) in implementing the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.

Emphasising the vitality of Co-WIN which has been developed as an extension of the eVIN (electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) platform, in India’s National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, the Survey highlighted that Co-WIN, a comprehensive cloud-based IT solution for planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating Covid-19 vaccination in India, the Co-WIN system provided an end-to-end solution with utilities for the entire public health system. The dual interface of the open platform made it scalable across citizen and administrator-centric services. To ensure accountability and transparency in supply chains for vaccination, the platform provided real-time stock tracking at the national, state, and district levels (Government and Private). This further plugged the wastage of Covid-19 vaccines, which otherwise occurred pre-Co-WIN.

The Survey says, going beyond the users (admins, supervisors, and vaccinators), vaccination centres, and beneficiaries’ registration in 12 regional languages, the web solution extended the issuance of digitally verifiable certificates. The Vaccination Certificate was designed at par with WHO Guidelines to assist even international travellers. To reduce the burden of registration hinging on a single document (Aadhaar), the Government allowed registration using any of the 10 photo identity cards [Aadhaar Card, Driving License, PAN Card, Passport, Pension Passbook, NPR Smart Card, Voter ID, Unique Disability Identification Card, Ration Card with Photo, Student Photo ID card]. Tackling the problem of the digital divide and digital exclusion, multiple beneficiaries (up to six) were allowed onboarding using a single mobile number through the National Covid helpline. To ensure that those having limited access to physical facilities during times of Covid, either due to age, disability or identity, are not left out, special provisions through the “Workplace Covid Vaccination Centre” in the Government and private sector and also “Near to Home Covid Vaccination Centres “ were made available.

 

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