Centre gears up for roll out of COVID-19 vaccination across the country

The Central Government is gearing up for the roll out of COVID19 vaccination program across the country. As the vaccine administrators will play an important role in the vaccination process, training of trainers and those who shall administer the vaccine has been taken up across various States. To strengthen the capacity of the human resource for COVID-19 vaccine introduction and roll-out, detailed training modules have been developed for different categories of vaccine handlers and administrators.

The training includes organization of vaccination sessions, use of Co-WIN IT platform for management of the entire vaccination process,  deployment of HR Cold chain preparedness, Management of adverse events, etc.To facilitate redressal of queries on COVID-19 vaccination and Co-WIN portal related queries, national 1075 and state 104 Helpline capacity has also been strengthened.

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 As a step to prepare for administration of COVID-19 vaccine and to assess the readiness of the planned activities, a dry run has been planned in four states  Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Punjab considering the geographical locations. An important focus of the dry run will be on management of any possible adverse events following immunisation. In addition, adherence and management of infection control practices at the session site, to prevent disease transmission. The mock drill will include concurrent monitoring and review at the block and district levels, and preparation of feedback to be shared with the State and Union Health Ministry.

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Detailed checklist has been prepared by the Union health Ministry and shared with the four States to guide them in the dry run. The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19, NEGVAC has recommended three prioritised population groups including  Healthcare Workers about 1 crore, Frontline Workers about 2 crore and Prioritized Age Group about 27 crore. As vaccines are temperature sensitive and need to be stored in specific temperature, the present cold chain system consisting of 85 thousand 6 hundred 34 equipment for storage of vaccine at about 28 thousand 9 hundred 47 cold chain points across the country will be used for the cold chain administration. The current cold chain is capable of storing additional quantities of Covid-19 vaccine required for the first 3 Crore prioritised population, the Health Care Workers and Front Line Workers.

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