District to prepare list of front-line workers for Covid-19 vaccine
After preparing a database of 50,000 healthcare workers in government and private hospitals for Covid-19 vaccination, the district health department will now be focussing on preparing a similar list for front-line workers from the police department, armed forces, home guard, civil defence, disaster management department, and the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG).
Front-line workers are second in the list of prioritised population groups, who will be vaccinated for SARS-CoV-2 virus once the vaccine is rolled out. On Tuesday, in a meeting held with the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), the state and district health department were directed to collate the data of front-line workers. Government departments like the police, urban local bodies, and armed forces will share the details with the health department, said senior officials who attended the meeting.
“Further directives on the process and date line for data collection of front-line workers are awaited from state government,” said Dr MP Singh, district immunisation officer. “The department has almost finished finalising the health staff of 732 private health care units, under which over 50,000 employees have been identified.”
Overall, in Haryana, 6.7 million people are to be vaccinated, which includes almost 2,50,000 health care workers, 4,50,000 front-line workers, 5.8 million people above the age of 50, and 2,20,000 people with comorbidities, aged below 50, as per the state health department document on Covid-19 vaccination.
Other preparatory activities such as strengthening the cold-chain infrastructure, deployment of additional vaccinators, strategy on vaccine safety and effectiveness and the development of Co-WIN — a digital platform for Covid-19 vaccination delivery — were also discussed.
The union health ministry is already in consultation with the state to assess the additional requirement for cold-chain storage like walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, deep freezers and ice-lined refrigerators. They keep the vaccine at a recommended temperature from the point of manufacture until it reaches the target beneficiaries.
Singh said, “It is likely the vaccine will require a temperature of 2 degrees Celsius to eight degrees Celsius and -15 to -25 degrees Celsius. For this, the cold-chain system has to be made robust. Currently, the district has 36 cold chain points where vaccines for routine immunisation are stored.” Across the state there are 686 cold-chain points. Also, a real time digital platform for Covid-19 vaccination storage and delivery, called Co-WIN, has also been created by the Centre. It will also help in tracing the beneficiaries of the vaccine.
Vaccination sites and vaccinators
“Vaccination session sites for Covid-19 are yet to be finalised,” said Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer(CMO).For the routine immunisation, the district has 1,275 session sites. It includes primary health care centres and community health centres, along with some outreach areas which are far from cold-chain points. For the vaccinators, the health department, which is following the NEGVAC guidelines, will have Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) as Covid-19 vaccinators. They are already vaccinators under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
“There are almost 550 vaccinators in the government set-up and over 3,500 in the private sector. The department has to work on the co-ordination plan for vaccinators. We have been directed in the meeting that due to Covid-19 vaccination drive, the routine immunisation should not be impacted,” said Singh. Even the document shared by the state health department shows that vaccinators from the private sector are to be included to minimise the disruption of routine immunisation service.
At the session sites, there will be a five-member team for 100 beneficiaries, according to the state document. It will have one vaccinator, two support staff,a security personnel and one person to verify documents. The sessions site will have three rooms — one for verification, the second for vaccination and the third for observation, where after the immunisation, the person will be observed to check the health status.
The training material for the health staff and vaccinators is, however, yet to be finalised at the national level, along with the standard operating procedures (SOPs), which are in the final stages. However, Singh said that since vaccines will require two to three doses, with each dose to be given after three to four weeks, they will have to give vaccine dosage from the same manufacturer. “A detailed record will have to be maintained,” said Singh.