Bihar has around 15,000 vaccinators.(REUTERS/Representative use)
Bihar has around 15,000 vaccinators.(REUTERS/Representative use)

Bihar taps private sector to add Covid vaccinators

Bihar has around 15,000 vaccinators, with auxiliary nursing midwives (ANMs) comprising more than 50% of them
By Ruchir Kumar | Edited by Abhinav Sahay | Hindustan Times, Patna
UPDATED ON DEC 04, 2020 03:43 PM IST

The Bihar government has reached out to private diagnostic laboratories and medical colleges for identifying all health workers in an effort to shore up the number of vaccinators to administer Covid-19 vaccine, when it is rolled out by the Centre.

Bihar hopes to rope in doctors, interns, nurses and final year nursing students, paramedical staff, including operation theatre technicians, ECG technicians and other health workers directly engaged in patient management for the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

The state health society, Bihar, which is the regional implementing agency for the National Health Mission programme, recently sent out links through e-mail to private laboratories and medical colleges, seeking details of staff including information if they can be a potential vaccinator, said a senior government officer, requesting anonymity.

The other information sought on each health worker includes their category classification, mobile number, gender, date of birth and photo identity card.

Bihar has around 15,000 vaccinators, with auxiliary nursing midwives (ANMs) comprising more than 50% of them.

“All the 20,000 plus auxiliary nursing midwives (ANMs) are vaccinators. Leaving out those drafted for emergency duty and work in operation theatres, most ANMs are involved in routine or universal immunisation programme against 12 diseases,” the official quoted above added.

Also Read: Centre has no Covid-19 vaccine roadmap for poor, says Congress after all-party meet

“We are tapping private institutions to increase our capacity of vaccinators so that there is no delay on our part in administering the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it is available,” the officer said.

As per the coverage evaluation survey of 2009, 89.8% of vaccination in India is provided through the public sector including 53% from outreach sessions held at Anganwadi centres, while private sector’s contribution is a meagre 8.7%.

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“The state health society sent us a link a couple of days back, asking us to furnish details of our health staff, including their identity proof, mobile number, short address and information if they can be a potential vaccinator. We are complying with the government order,” said Dr Sandeep Sen of the Sen Diagnostics, a private NABL-accredited laboratory in Patna.

“We sent the list of our employees, including the clerical staff, to the government last month,” said Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, principal of the Madhubani Medical College, one of the six private medical colleges in Bihar.

11 medical colleges are run by the public sector in Bihar.

Manoj Kumar, executive director, state health society, Bihar, did not respond to phone calls or text messages.

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