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West Bengal has been allotted only five sites for the public vaccination drive.

The vaccination program is being conducted at many government hospitals and private hospitals in the state.

On March 1, 2021, India began its second phase of coronavirus vaccination. The second phase involves immunizing senior citizens and people with comorbidities in the age bracket of 45-59 years.Those who want to get the vaccine will have to register on the upgraded version of the CoWIN app or the website.

According to the guidance note for CoWIN app 2.0, COVID vaccines will be administered at COVID vaccination centers (CVCs) which include government COVID vaccination centers (GCVCs) and private COVID vaccination centers (PCVCs). GCVCs include all government medical colleges, district hospitals, sub-district hospitals, community health centers, primary health centers, sub-health centers and central institutions, health facilities of other ministries such as Railways, ESIC, Home, etc., and all CGHS Dispensaries.

Only those private health facilities that are empaneled either under the PMJAY or under the CGHS or any health insurance scheme of the state/UT government can participate as PCVCs. The guidelines also mention that with respect to the determination of the number and list of CVCs to be operated, states will be required to plan an adequate number of CVCs and appropriate geographical spread to achieve the target as decided by the State/UT for a period. States and districts will be required to pre-register these CVCs on the COWIN portal before the registration is opened for citizens.

According to the MoHFW's list of private hospitals under the PMJAY scheme across the country that can conduct vaccinations, there are currently five hospitals in West Bengal which are a part of the vaccination program against COVID-19.

The claim that the Union government has allotted only five sites for the public vaccination drive in West Bengal is misleading.

According to the ministry's guidelines, these hospitals would have been registered on the COWIN portal by the state government. Furthermore, the list only includes private hospitals under the PMJAY scheme and does not include GCVCs in the state and other PCVCs that are under the CGHS or any state government's health insurance scheme. The total number of CVCs in West Bengal, where public vaccination is underway, is significantly higher, and it is not just these five hospitals where people can avail COVID-19 vaccine shots.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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