Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Home COVID-19 COVID-19 Update: Frontline Workers To Get COVID-19 Vaccine In Phase 1

COVID-19 Update: Frontline Workers To Get COVID-19 Vaccine In Phase 1

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New Delhi: Union health ministry officials said on Tuesday that about 30 million people, including frontline workers like healthcare specialists will be vaccinated in phase 1 once its available.

The 30 million people includes 7 million doctors and paramedics, in addition to 20 million other frontline health workers.

India has the infrastructure in place to vaccinate the 30 million, Bhushan said.

“We have the cold chain, vials, syringes and everything”, he added.

The phase 1 of vaccination tentatively scheduled between January and June 2021.

“In the deliberations of the national expert committee on vaccine administration we have come up with a draft prioritisation plan. We have also tried to match the numbers which have come from this draft plan to the number of doses that would become available from tentatively January to July 2021.”

“And we think if the present trials proceeded according to plan, and succeed, then the number of doses that will become available from January to July 2021 would be sufficient to immunize the priority list persons. That we are working on…”, Bhushan said.

Even after vaccine is available, people must not afford to let their guard down.

“The same precautions (against the disease) will have to be continued even after the Covid-19 vaccine is developed. We have to remain cautious… we have to test, treat and isolate for a good time.”

“The requirement for this may gradually reduce over time, but there is no scope for relaxation”, said Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief, Dr Balram Bhargava.

India is successful in running Universal Immunisation Programme for the last 50 years.

“As a result we have more than 28,000 cold storages already existing across the country that are used to store several vaccines administered under the programme. All these facilities have temperature trackers that help upload information in real-time on our centralized server”, Bhushan claimed.

“We also have our own digital platform that has all updated information — from vaccine procurement to storage, cold chain and transportation in refrigerated vehicles. If non-refrigerated vehicles are used, then to transport vaccines in them, a special kind of refrigerated boxes are used where temperature is regulated.”

“This facility already exists in India, and what the government is contemplating is how to augment this facility to be able to deliver COVID-19 vaccine. For this, we have a national-level expert committee in place”, he added further.

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