100 people per session, electoral rolls, mobile sites: Centre’s Covid-19 vaccine guidelines
The Union health ministry has sent its operational guidelines to states and Union territories for the distribution of the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as and when it becomes available. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has said India will look to vaccinate 250-300 million people against Covid-19 in the first phase on priority by July next year.
India’s Covid-19 tally has risen to 98,57,029, 9,357,464 patients have been cured or discharged from the hospitals and its death toll has mounted to 143,019, according to health ministry figures. There are nine Covid-19 vaccine candidates in different phases of development in India and of these three are in the pre-clinical phase whereas six are under clinical trials.
Here’s what the Centre’s Covid-19 Vaccines Operational Guidelines say:
1. The Covid-19 vaccine will be offered first to healthcare workers, frontline workers and to people above 50 years of age. It will be followed by those younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities based on evolving pandemic situation. Finally, the remaining population will be vaccinated based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.
2. The priority group of above 50 years may be again subdivided into those above 60 years of age and those between 50 to 60 years of age for purposes of the phasing of the vaccine’s rollout based on the pandemic situation and vaccine availability.
3. The latest electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly election will be used to identify population aged 50 years or more.
4. While most of the healthcare and frontline workers would be vaccinated at fixed session sites, vaccination of other high-risk populations may require outreach session sites, and mobile sites or teams. States and Union territories can identify specific days for vaccination, the government guidelines say.
5. Only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated following the prioritization, with 100 registered beneficiaries vaccinated per session. There will be no on-the-spot vaccination of beneficiaries at the vaccination site.
6. Covid-19 vaccine will be introduced once all training is completed at the district, block, and planning units.
7. The vaccination team will consist of five members. There will be a vaccinator officer, who could be a doctor (MBBS/BDS), staff nurse, pharmacist, auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), lady health visitor (LHV). Anyone legally authorised to give injection will be considered as a potential vaccinator.
8. There will be vaccination officer 1 with at least one person from the police, home guard, civil defence, National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme or Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan who will check the registration status of the beneficiary at the entry point and ensure guarded entry to the vaccination session.
9. The vaccination officer 2 will be the verifier who will authenticate or verify the identification documents while the vaccination officer 3 and 4 will be the two-support staff responsible for crowd management, information education and communication, and support the vaccinator.
10. A digitalised platform, the Covid-19 vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system will be used to track the enlisted beneficiaries for vaccination and Covid-19 vaccines on a real-time basis.
11. The existing adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) surveillance system will be used to monitor adverse events and inform the understanding of the safety profile of the vaccines.