Bihar to form block-level task force for Covid-19 vaccination drive
Bihar will form block-level task force and use its routine immunisation channel for administering the Covid-19 vaccine, once available, with the Centre committing to increase the state’s vaccine storage capacity by one crore vials, the government said.
It will also engage doctors, dentists, medicos, paramedics, nurses and nursing students as alternate vaccinators for the purpose, said officials.
“We have planned to make robust arrangements, akin to conducting elections, as the vaccine has to be administered to the people in the shortest possible period,” said Bihar’s chief secretary Deepak Kumar, who chaired the first meeting of the state’s steering committee on Covid vaccination Wednesday evening.
This would mean the authorities would set up booths at block level for administering the vaccine, said officials privy to the meeting. At present, Bihar has a state-level task force and district-level units for undertaking health programmes under the National Health Mission.
Doctors and healthcare workers will be vaccinated on a priority basis. The state is currently in the process of preparing a database of health personnel, both in government and private sector.
“We will submit within a week to the Centre name of doctors and healthcare workers in the state, as they are the first in the eligible category for vaccination, as decided by the Centre,” said Kumar.
The Centre will closely monitor the condition of every healthcare worker vaccinated through a mobile application, the chief secretary added.
“Currently, we do not know when and which vaccine we will get, but we should not be found wanting in logistics for its distribution once the Centre makes them available to us,” Kumar said.
Bihar is also increasing its vaccine storage capacity to account for the Covid-19 vaccine.
“We will add around 1 crore vials to our existing vaccine storage capacity of 1.37 crore vials to account for the Covid vaccine. The Centre has committed to give us 900 ice-lined refrigerators and deep freezers, eight walk-in coolers and two walk-in freezers, which will begin to arrive from December 4,” said executive director of the State Health Society, Manoj Kumar, who is also the state nodal officer for Covid vaccination.
Eight walk-in coolers will be distributed among the regional vaccine stores while the two walk-in freezers will be commissioned at Nalanda and Bhagalpur districts, he added.
“We will also engage doctors, dentists, medicos, besides nurses, nursing students and paramedics to create a pool of alternate vaccinators so that the government’s routine immunisation and other health-related programme are not affected during the Covid-19 vaccination drive,” said the executive director.
The health department generally engages auxiliary nursing midwives for its routine immunisation programme against 12 preventable diseases.
Bihar has 674 cold chain points, 10 regional vaccine stores and one state vaccine store at the Nalanda Medical College Hospital in Patna for storing vaccines. The regional vaccine stores are in Patna, Bhagalpur, Purnia, Saharsa, Aurangabad, Nalanda, Muzaffarpur, Saran, Darbhanga and East Champaran districts.
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