Health Ministry issues guidance note for immunization services; Birth dose vaccinations to continue
New Delhi: Ministry of Health has issued a guidance note for immunization services during and post COVID-19 outbreak. In the guidance note, the Ministry has said that birth dose vaccinations at health facilities will continue irrespective of the categorization of zones amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It said, an area exiting a containment or a buffer zone category can start facility-based and outreach immunization activities only after a minimum gap of 14 days. The document said that in alignment with the area categorization, immunization services will be classified under two heads — immunization in containment and buffer zone and immunization in areas beyond the buffer and green zone.
The document also specified that in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, delivery of immunization services for different zones will follow the guidelines of the Home Ministry and Health ministry pertaining to COVID-19 and no state should violate any COVID-19 guidance. Practices of social distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene need to be maintained at all immunization sessions irrespective of zones. It also said that immunization services in containment and buffer zone would involve no active mobilization to the health facility.
At any given time during the immunization session, not more than five persons should be present at the site with at least one-meter distance between each.