The ministry of health and family welfare had set a target of inoculating 2 crore frontline workers in the second phase of immunisation drive, which include state and central police forces, home guards, civil defence organisations, prison staff, disaster management volunteers, revenue department staff and municipal workers. However, against the expected numbers, 78.51 lakh frontline workers have been registered till February 6 — about 40% of the targeted numbers. The most numbers have been registered by Uttar Pradesh at 6.33 lakh followed by Andhra Pradesh 5.96 lakh and Maharashtra at 5.94 lakh.
A senior health ministry official told ET, “The number is less than expected but it is an on-going process and the states are updating the numbers continuously. The portal has been kept open and the states have been asked to register frontline workers on Co-WIN continuously.”
Several states have initiated the inoculation drive for frontline workers. In this phase, frontline workers from armed forces would also be included. According to Co-WIN data, the most number of frontline beneficiaries from defence would be covered in this phase at 15.17 lakh. In the first phase, the number of healthcare workers from defence forces registered for inoculation was much less at 94,331.
The health ministry has got ₹480 crore additional allocation from the finance ministry to meet operational costs of both phases of vaccination. So far, the ministry has released ₹123.49 crore to the states to meet operational costs.
According to sources, the next tranche would be released as the states open up more sites to undertake the vaccination of frontline workers. The funds have been allocated to states in proportion to the beneficiary load indicated by them. So far, the maximum funds have been released to Uttar Pradesh (₹13.33 crore), Maharashtra (₹11.94 crore), Karnataka (₹10.08 crore) and West Bengal (₹7.72 crore).