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    States gear up for mass vaccination as DCGI approves Covid-19 vaccines


    State health ministers are holding review meetings and onsite inspections of vaccination centres as they expect the vaccine doses to arrive over the next week and the vaccination drive to begin around January 14.

    New Delhi: As the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave the mandatory regulatory approval to Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, state health ministers are holding review meetings and onsite inspections of vaccination centres as they expect the vaccine doses to arrive over the next week and the vaccination drive to begin around January 14. ET takes a look at the preparations in the states.

    Kerala has been a cause of worry for the Centre as it is consistently reporting the highest number of single-day cases. As per health ministry statistics, 10 states and UTs accounted for 81.81% of new cases in India over the last 24 hours. Of this, Kerala reported the highest daily new cases at 5,328. It reported the highest recoveries at 4,985. In Kerala, 3.13 lakh healthcare workers have registered for vaccination, according to health minister KK Shailaja.

    The Trinamool Congress government in Bengal has conducted dry runs in three locations. State health department officials said 25 healthcare workers were vaccinated at each location and “loopholes in logistics are being plugged”. According to health secretary NS Nigam, 6 lakh health workers were identified, and 20,000 vaccination centres earmarked. “Our cold chains are in place, and database ready. We can do as many doses as the Centre gives us,” he said.

    Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh has seen a rise in cases during winter. Health minister TS Singhdeo told ET, “We have identified 2.49 lakh healthcare workers for vaccination. We have conducted dry runs and would be able to vaccinate the target provided to us by the Centre in a day.” The state expects to roll out the vaccine by January 14, he said “unless the Centre gives a particular day like in case of polio drops”.

    Uttar Pradesh has an estimated 9 lakh healthcare workers and about 16 lakh frontline workers who will be given priority. UP health minister Jai Pratap Singh told ET that the state has prepared a capacity to store 70 lakh vaccine vials which will be augmented. Vaccine recipients will be given a card with registration ID, helpline numbers etc, in case there is any adverse reaction. On Saturday, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said the vaccine will be available around January 14.

    Maharashtra has added 7.22 lakh of its healthcare personnel to the Centre’s Co-WIN app for the vaccination drive. State officials said 5 lakh more healthcare workers will receive the doses. Their details will be uploaded in the central portal. By July, around 3 crore people are expected to receive the vaccine.

    The Jammu and Kashmir administration will get around 1.6 lakh vaccine doses during the first phase for healthcare workers. Financial commissioner for health and medical education Atal Dulloo said 4,500 vaccinators are ready and 14,500 potential vaccinators trained. State immunisation officer Qazi Haroon said the administration is ready for the first phase and dry runs conducted in a few districts. “For now, there is no resistance from any health workers regarding vaccination. Some have even demanded to include their family members in the first phase,” said Haroon.

    Telangana will get 5 lakh vaccine doses in the first leg, followed by 10 lakh doses in the second leg, followed by 1 crore doses later, said health minister Eatela Rajender. Telangana on Saturday conducted mock vaccine administration to healthcare workers in urban primary healthcare facilities. Telangana has identified some 80 lakh beneficiaries in the first phase.

    Tamil Nadu has identified 6 lakh healthcare workers and 47,206 sites for vaccination. “It is going to be an IT-enabled app activity and we have given training based on the guidelines. We tested the vaccine preparedness in 17 sites across five districts,” said health secretary J Radhakrishnan. “Our present preparedness is by way of regular inspections of cold storage facilities and vaccination sites, not just in places where we have done the trial run.”

    Gujarat has identified 4.31 lakh health workers for the first phase. As per state statistics, 6.3 lakh frontline workers would be identified in the second part of the first phase. The state would bear the expense of vaccination as much as it can.

    The government has identified 19 places in 7 districts for vaccination. “All preparations have been done. Special arrangements are made to keep vials at the required temperature. We are ready,” said Rajasthan health secretary Sidhartha Mahajan. The target is to vaccinate 5 lakh healthcare workers in the first phase.
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    1 Comment on this Story

    Raghavan57 days ago
    Will it not be better to give half-a-shot of vaccine drug for people who had not suffered the pandemic? Is it not enough to give half a shot to pure vegetarians?
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