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Opinion

Before meeting with prime minister, states discuss Covid vaccination plan

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A day before meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Covid-19, several states on Monday issued instructions to collect data from frontline workers and vulnerable groups, and create a cold chain infrastructure to transport vaccines.

The first batch of the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) is expected to be in India by late January or early February, SII Managing Director Adar Poonawalla said at the HT Leadership Summit last week.

On Monday, Astra Zeneca, which partnered with IBS to mass-manufacture the vaccine, said its Covid-19 vaccine showed close to 90% efficiency.

India hopes to launch the vaccine by March 2021, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told Bloomberg in an interview on Monday, including through experts pointing out that India faces a huge challenge in cold chain and distribution infrastructure. The central government began preparing a roadmap to develop the infrastructure for the distribution of vaccines throughout the country in August.

Read also | India’s Active Covid Case Burden Still Below 5% – Government Data

For their part, the states are also preparing to administer the Covid-19 vaccine and are preparing a database of all front-line workers, who would receive the dose of the vaccine in the first phase. Some states, such as Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar, have already announced that the vaccine will be provided free of charge.

On Monday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered officials to complete all preparations for the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, including “a strong cold chain maintenance setup” in all districts. before December 15th. “For vaccination against Covid-19, complete all preparations within a given time frame. Establish coordination between departments,” the CM said in a government statement.

Rajasthan’s Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot chaired a meeting of all the district magistrates on Monday and ordered them to prepare a database of front-line workers so that the vaccine can be administered to them without any problems. He also ordered officials to build small cold rooms at the district headquarters to store the vaccine.

In Tamil Nadu, bound for the elections, where Prime Minister Palaniswami had announced in October that everyone in the state would receive free vaccinations, work has begun on the database of health workers. The Tamil Nadu government has also formed two committees to prepare protocols for the distribution of a vaccine once it is released.

The recruitment process for medical institutions, which includes hospitals and medical schools, began in September, authorities said. “Once a common Indian government portal is ready, we will upload our database,” said Dr. TS Selvavinayagam, Director of the Public Health Directorate and Principal Investigator of the vaccine trials in Tamil Nadu. The management will also issue an identity number for all persons who are entitled to vaccines with priority.

Two committees were formed a couple of days ago to plan vaccine distribution on a priority basis and oversee logistical requirements.

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