Double temperature checks, regular monitoring keep vaccines safe in Uttarakhand
- Uttarakhand at present has over 92,000 doses of Covishield vaccine, after a second consignment was received by the state on Wednesday afternoon. The state received the first consignment of 1.13 lakh vaccines on January 13.
With almost two lakh doses of the Covid-19 vaccine available in the state, officials managing the vaccine store in Dehradun are on their toes to ensure that the vaccines do not get wasted.
They are especially cautious after states like Assam reported around 1000 vials of the vaccine being wasted due to freezing.
Dr. Saroj Naithani, state director for the National Health Mission said, “Officials deployed at the cold storages are working round-the-clock checking temperatures of the vaccines. If vaccines get frozen, then they will be wasted. Our goal is to ensure that every citizen gets the vaccine without any wastage.”
RC Gautam, state cold chain officer said that the main focus of the officials is to ensure that the temperature of the vaccines is maintained between two degrees to eight degrees Celsius.
“The first thing I do when I reach office is to personally go and check the temperatures of the vaccines. The same routine is followed at the end of the day before leaving. The temperatures are noted down for regular monitoring. We have to regularly ensure that temperature is maintained as per the guidelines because we cannot let the vaccines go waste. We also have auto-connection generators so that cooling is not stopped even during power cuts,” said Gautam.
Gautam manages the state cold chain storage where vaccines for Covid-19, measles, rubella, Hepatitis B and other diseases are kept.
Uttarakhand at present has over 92,000 doses of Covishield vaccine, after a second consignment was received by the state on Wednesday afternoon. The state received the first consignment of 1.13 lakh vaccines on January 13.
“From the moment they are unloaded from the flight till they reach the regional stores or district stores, we continuously monitor the movement of the vaccines. Though all our drivers are trained in handling vaccines but still, each time before sending vaccines to different districts, we give special instructions to drivers that they should not stop the vehicle anywhere, neither should anyone attempt to open the packages,” he added.
Speaking on why the drivers are instructed to not stop while delivering vaccines, Gautam said, “We package the vaccines in such a manner with cold packs inside the boxes, that the required temperatures are maintained. But if drivers stop in between then there are slight chances of the temperature changing due to different altitude.”
So far, the state has not reported any wastage of vaccines.
The Uttarakhand government has developed over 300 cold chain points, where the vaccines are stored in temperatures between two and eight degrees as guided by the Centre. Further, 483 ice-lined refrigerators, 547 deep freezers and three walk-in freezers have been arranged.
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