A medic checks the temperature of ice packs in a deep freezer at a Covid-19 vaccine storage facility in Ahmedabad.(PTI)
A medic checks the temperature of ice packs in a deep freezer at a Covid-19 vaccine storage facility in Ahmedabad.(PTI)

Covid-19 vaccine drive: Centre to send additional storage equipment to states from tomorrow

The present cold chain system consists of 85,634 equipment for storage of vaccine at about 28,947 cold chain points across the country.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON DEC 09, 2020 06:02 PM IST

Starting from December 10, the Centre will send additional vaccine storage equipment to states and union territories, as the preparation for starting the vaccine drive is going on in full swing.Three vaccine candidates, including that of Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, have applied for emergency use authorisation. While the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation reviews the applications, the Centre is readying the ground work for vaccine delivery.

According to health ministry, the present cold chain system consists of 85,634 equipment for storage of vaccine at about 28,947 cold chain points across the country. The number (85,634) includes all auxiliary equipment as well like walk-in coolers, transport box etc.

The Centre had already asked the states and UTs to assess their cold-storage requirement, if they need extra walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, deep freezers, ice-lined refrigerators etc., as the present equipment are also used for other immunisation programmes.

The supply will start from December 10, the ministry has said.

The current cold chain is capable of storing additional quantity of Covid-19 vaccine required for first 3 crore people — health care workers and frontline workers, the ministry has said.

Here is what we know about vaccination drive

> Health care workers will get vaccine shots in the beginning followed frontline staff. Then people with co-morbidities will be given priority.

> All three groups can be vaccinated at the same time, depending on the availability of the vaccine.

> In the first month, there can be a limited supply of vaccine, but n the following months, supply will be augmented

> It will be a voluntary exercise.

> Out of 2.39 lakh vaccinators (auxiliary nurse midwife), 1.54 lakh will be deployed for Covid-19 vaccination

> At present, there are 13 immunisation programmes in India.

> Centre is finalising a vaccination SOP with inputs from states.

> Centre will launch Co-WIN app to monitor the entire process. People will be able to register themselves for vaccination through the app.

> In each session, 100 people will be vaccinated. At least 30 minutes will be required to complete the process of vaccinating each recipient.

The health ministry has also zeroed in on five principles to carry out the vaccination drive: One, orderly, smooth implementation driven by technology; Two, no compromise of existing healthcare services, especially national programmes and primary care; Three, utilise experience of elections and universal immunisation programme; Four, ensure people’s participation; Five, no compromise on scientific and regulatory norms, other SOPs.

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