Mumbai civic body prepares blueprint for Covid-19 vaccine drive

The training of 2,500 people for vaccine administration is underway at BMC hospitals
Dr Avinash Ankush from BMC’s immunisation department, along with WHO and UN officials, hold discussions on the immunisation programme at G-North Ward, Dadar, on December 18.(HT FILE)
Dr Avinash Ankush from BMC’s immunisation department, along with WHO and UN officials, hold discussions on the immunisation programme at G-North Ward, Dadar, on December 18.(HT FILE)
Updated on Dec 22, 2020 01:28 AM IST
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ByEeshanpriya MS

With the prospect of India beginning its Covid-19 vaccination drive as early as January 2021, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has prepared a vaccine administration, distribution and storage plan.

The civic body has identified eight hospitals as Covid-19 vaccination centres — KEM Hospital, Sion Hospital, Nair Hospital, Cooper Hospital, Bandra Bhabha Hospital, VN Desai Hospital, Rajawadi Hospital and Bharat Ratna Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital.

Presently, Cooper Hospital is being developed as a model centre for vaccination, so that other centres can replicate the plan. The vaccine will be administered in three phases.

Over 1.25 lakh health care workers have been identified for the first phase, front-line workers will be given the shots in the second phase and people in the high-risk category above the age of 50 years will be administered shots in the third phase. The training of 2,500 people for vaccine administration is underway at BMC hospitals.

Administrative management

In Phase-1 of vaccination drive, health care workers will be administered the shots. For the purpose, eight hospitals – KEM, Sion, Nair, Cooper, Bhabha, VN Desai, Rajawadi and BDBA – have been identified.

Each of these centres will further identify a minimum of three-five ideal vaccination sites.

The deans and medical superintendents of the hospitals have been instructed to identify dedicated team members (five per site) for the smooth and effective administration of the vaccine.

A model vaccination centre at Cooper hospital is being developed, which will be replicated at the other seven hospitals.

Depending upon the vaccine availability and introduction of second phase for frontline workers, BMC will start additional centres.

Phase-wise immunisation

For the first phase, BMC has so far identified 1.25 lakh health workers, of which data of 80,000 workers has been uploaded on the Centre’s vaccine portal.

In Phase-2, frontline workers will be given the vaccine. The maintenance department of BMC is collecting the data of frontline workers from public health, sanitation, waste management services, frontline engineers, vehicle drivers, BEST and cemetery staff for the vaccination drive.

In the third phase, citizens in the ‘high-risk category’ above the age of 50 will be administered the vaccine.

Management of AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) panel

The eight centres have been identified as vaccination centres for management of adverse effects following immunisation.

The existing AEFI committee will be expanded to include cardiologists, nephrologists and respiratory medicine specialists to strengthen the AEFI surveillance system for the vaccination drive.

Vaccine storage facility

Regional vaccine store (RVS): An area of 5,000 square feet on the first floor of BMC’s five-storey Parivar building at Kanjurmarg has been identified as the centralised spot for storing the vaccine.

Administrative approval has been obtained for the building. The storage facility is as per the norms of the Union health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The facility will have two walk-in coolers (WIC) and one walk-in freezer (WIF). The tenders for WIC and WIF have been invited.

WIC will have a capacity of 40 cubic metres and will maintain temperature upto -80 degree Celsius, while WIF will have a capacity of 20 cubic metres and will maintain temperature between -15 and -250 degree Celsius.

17 ice-lined refrigerators (ILR), each with a capacity of 225 litres, will be supplied by the state government. Eight of these have been delivered to the eight identified vaccination centres.

A technical committee for cold storage under the chairmanship of additional municipal commissioner of western suburbs, who is in-charge of the civic public health department, has been formed. The other members are technical experts from National Cold Chain Resource Centre.

This committee will monitor the construction of the cold storage facility as per quality and safety norms of the Centre.

A District Task Force (DTF) Committee has been formed under the chairmanship of the additional civic commissioner (western suburbs) for guidance and overall management of the entire process of introduction of Covid-19 vaccine in the district.

The first meeting of DTF was held on December 11 and was attended by officials from the education, police, transport and solid waste management (SWM) departments as well as the vaccine administration partner agencies – WHO, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).

Distribution mechanism for the vaccine

The distribution mechanism already existing under the routine immunisation programme shall be implemented for Covid-19 vaccine.

Additional vehicles will be deployed for transporting the vaccine from the Kanjurmarg facility to the vaccine centres with the help of police.

Deans and medical superintendents of the hospitals will identify dedicated persons (pharmacists or cold chain handlers) for maintaining the inventory of Covid -19 vaccine when it is made available from the central storage.

Training for vaccinators

A two-day state-level training was held on December 14 and 15 for vaccinators. Four senior officers from BMC’s epidemiology department, WHO, UNDP were trained as master trainers.

The junior-level trainers are being trained at medical colleges, peripheral hospitals and special hospitals.

These trainers will train the vaccination team members at their respective centres and field-level staff.

All the trainings will be completed by January 7, 2021.

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