Vaccine rollout: States gear up for phase 1

New Delhi: The states have geared up for the Covid vaccination programme to be rolled out from Saturday. ET takes a look at the preparedness on the ground.


Maharashtra has trained 16,000 vaccinators, has created 4,200 centres and 3,145 cold chain points for the drive. State officials said till now 7.5 lakh healthcare workers had registered themselves for the vaccination, including the government and private medical staff. The state government believes that another 4-5 lakh medical staff would need to be vaccinated. The state has fixed the network issues. However, officials said if the drive would be widened to remote areas, then they would face cold storage issues. Districts are also supposed to inoculate children for polio as well as the Mission Indradhanush, where children and pregnant women are vaccinated against several diseases.


Gujarat is ready with 17,128 trained vaccinators and 2 lakh health and social workers. The state can store more than 1 crore vaccine doses and has identified 27,934 session sites. There are 2,236 cold chain points, and 3,084 government and 15,942 private health facilities will participate in the exercise. Dry runs are being held across 248 blocks and 931 session sites spread across 26 zones. The state would cover 4.33 lakh health workers in the first phase of immunisation, which would be followed by 3.47 lakh frontline workers.


The state has identified 6 lakh healthcare workers and 47,206 sites where the drive will be carried out. It is an IT-enabled app activity and training has been given based on the guidelines, the state government said. In addition, there are 51 walk-in coolers in 38 districts, including Chennai, which can store about 2.5 crore vaccines. There are 2,880 secondary cold storage points as well as boxes. Since the elderly population in Tamil Nadu is higher, the state is expecting extra vaccines.


Assam has identified session sites, mostly in nearby health institutions, for vaccination. In a session around 100 people will be vaccinated by a 5-member team. There are around 2 lakh frontline healthcare workers and their vaccination will be completed in 2-3 days. The second dose will be given after 28 days. Till January 8, around 1.54 lakh healthcare workers and 4,537 of central agencies have registered for the vaccine through portal Co-WIN app. Assam’s vaccine storage capacity stood at 3.70 crore doses.


The Telangana government has made arrangements at 139 centres and is expecting to receive 6.5 lakh doses on Tuesday. The state on Saturday received a modern vaccine cooler with a capacity of 40 cubic metres and is readying a capacity to store 1.5 crore doses in Hyderabad and another 1.5 crore in other districts. Health minister Eatela Rajender announced that he would get himself vaccinated on the first day to ensure confidence among the frontline workers — 13,900 of them would be vaccinated on the first day. The state said the number of vaccination centres would be increased to over 1,500 in the next phases to cover a wider section of the population. In the first phase, 2.9 lakh healthcare staff would be vaccinated.


The state is expecting to receive 1.7 lakh doses or vials for the drive through 18 vaccine stores — central vaccine centre at Gannavaram near Vijayawada, 4 regional vaccine stores and 13 district-level stores, apart from 1,659 cold chain points at primary healthcare centres. The public health department has so far uploaded the data of 3.7 lakh healthcare workers and around 9 lakh frontline workers.


Uttar Pradesh will be conducting vaccination across 852 centres, health minister Jai Pratap Singh told ET, adding that the state has identified about 1,500 centres, with a total of 3,000 booths. He said each centre will have two teams totalling 25 workers who have been trained for vaccination, documentation of IDs, details of candidates, observation of any reactions, etc. Another senior health department official said each candidate will be expected to stay for at least 30 minutes at the centre, during which he will be observed for any reactions. The state looks at vaccinating close to 9 lakh healthcare workers and will be conducting a third round of dry run on Monday.


In the first phase, 1.06 lakh health workers will receive the dose. Officials said around 4,500 vaccinators were trained. “For the first phase, we have 27 centres and a team of minimum five people, including two vaccinators, would be available at each centre,” said an official. On the first day, each centre is expecting to receive a minimum of 100 beneficiaries. During the ongoing dry runs, officials have faced difficulty in accessing and uploading information on Co-WIN App due to mobile internet restrictions. The administration has banned 4G and allowed 2G mobile Internet in 18 of the 20 districts. “For one beneficiary it took us around 10 minutes on 2G mobile Internet to complete the process on the app during the dry run. This would be a major issue,” another government official told ET. The government is planning to ensure that the app could be used in offline mode.

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