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Opinion

Covid Vaccination in Delhi: 500+ Centers in Phase 1 Facility Being Set Up for 2-8 Degree C Storage

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Work is in full swing to establish vaccination centers against Covid-19 in the national capital with 500 units of this type in the first phase, even when the storage facility is being equipped with freezers to store vaccines in a temperature range of 2-8 degrees centigrade.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday welcomed the approval given for the emergency use of two Covid-19 vaccines, and stated that the city government was ready for the vaccination campaign as soon as any vaccines arrived.

A total of 1,000 vaccination centers will be established. In addition, between 500 and 600 centers will be established in the first phase, for which it is working at full capacity, authorities said.

India’s drug regulator approved the Oxford Covid-19 Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for restricted emergency use in the country.

“We are all ready with our preparations, from warehousing to logistics, and a three-site test was conducted on Saturday to assess readiness for the vaccination rollout. Vaccination can start as soon as the vaccine reaches Delhi, which we expect in a few days, ”Jain said on Sunday.

As part of the first phase, approximately three lakhs for healthcare workers and almost six lakhs for frontline workers will receive the vaccine.

The city government has announced that the vaccine will be provided to people in Delhi free of charge.

While the Covid-19 situation appears to be significantly under control, several people who came here from the UK and were detected with the new strain of the coronavirus have caused some concern, but authorities said they were fully alert.

Delhi recorded 424 new cases of Covid-19, the lowest in more than seven months, and 14 new deaths on Sunday, even as the positivity rate dropped to 0.62 percent. The infection count in the city stood at more than 6.26 lakh and the death toll rose to 10,585.

The minister has said that the Delhi government has so far made preparations to vaccinate one lakh of people in one day. Social distancing will be maintained and people will be admitted to the centers in batches of 10, he added.

The Delhi government is fully prepared to receive, store and administer the Covid-19 vaccine at 51 lakh from priority category people in the city in the first phase of vaccination, the minister said earlier.

These include health workers, who will be the first to receive, followed by front-line workers, people over 50 and those under 50 but with comorbidities, he added.

The vaccination centers will be hospitals or facilities linked to hospitals.

Emergency rooms will be set up in the centers, and those who receive the vaccine dose will be kept there under observation for half an hour, to see if there are any side effects.

“A monitoring station has been set up at a vaccination center and any side effects such as headache, body aches will be investigated immediately, and there is a connection to the hospital anyway,” Jain said.

Regarding the preparations for the storage facility at the Rajiv Gandhi Superspecialties Hospital (RGSSH), sources said, 90 freezers arrived and almost half of them were installed, adding that cold chain equipment was also installed.

“The facility that is being established in RGSSH can store vaccines in a temperature range of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius … But, as of now, we have not received any information on which vaccine will be shipped here,” a source told PTI.

RGSSH, recently made a partially Covid-19 facility, has 650 beds and played an important role in the fight against the pandemic in 2020.

There will be two cold chain teams for storage. The ground floor and first floor of the utility block, which measures approximately 4,700 square feet, will be used for the storage facility on the hospital premises.

“Officials from the Delhi State Health Mission are monitoring the installation of the storage facility on a daily basis,” the source said.

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