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20 ministries, 23 departments to play a major role in vaccine deployment | India News

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BENGALURU: From Covid vaccines becoming available in areas affected by left-wing extremists to managing crowds at vaccination sites and borrowing cold chain facilities to ensure an uninterrupted power supply, at least 19 Ministries and 23 different departments in addition to the Ministry of Health will perform specific functions to ensure smooth vaccine deployment throughout the country.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, several ministries and departments are currently converging to support the vaccination campaign, under the direction of the National Group of Experts on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19.
In its SOP, the Ministry of Health has mentioned that coordination mechanisms have already been defined at the national, state, district and block levels. At least four departments (urban development, revenue, PWD, public health engineering) have been instructed to help with the identification of Covid vaccination sites. Although India has more than 82 lakh of sites, not all of them are suitable for Covid vaccination due to the mandatory requirement of social distancing. “Wherever possible, sites that are part of the universal immunization program (UIP) will be used,” said an official.
As part of the IPU, India has more than 28,900 cold chain points and more than 85,000 teams. The Health Ministry has been reiterating the need to increase the network, for which the departments of animal husbandry and food and civil supplies are now tied up.
While the food and civil supplies department “will help provide cold storage spaces and transportation systems, if necessary,” the animal husbandry department will help ensure “dedicated cold storage equipment / facilities.”
The PWD engineering, urban and rural development, and public health departments, among others, will discuss logistics, including provision of clean water at vaccination sites, site preparation, etc.

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