State governments across the country are waiting for instructions from the Centre on when to start the COVID-19 vaccination drive. Close to 300 million frontline workers are expected to get the vaccine dose in the first phase.
State governments health official said that in the second phase those above 50 and with co-morbidities would be given the vaccine. To prepare for the vaccination, the state government officials said the data of frontline workers have been updated on the Central government portal. The officials said that various task forces have been set to implement the Centre’s guidelines on vaccination.
Let’s take a quick look at the level of preparedness ahead of the vaccination drive across the states:
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said the state administration is waiting for a communication from Centre on the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and has done pre-runs for administering it. He said, “The approval for Serum Institute of India’s vaccine is only for emergency use and is subject to the consent of the patient, which means no one else would be held responsible for any health complications if any, post-vaccination.”
Dr. Subhash Salunkhe, chairman, of communicable disease prevention control and the technical committee said the state has started preparing the list of 7,58,000 COVID-19 warriors, who will receive the vaccination in the first phase.
“A detailed district-wise list of health care providers has been provided to the Centre on its Co-WIN app,” he said adding that the state will additionally provide vaccines to 30 million people. Dr. Shashank Josh, the member of the state vaccination task force, said, the Centre is expected to procure the vaccine and distribute it to states. He said, “By when will this process start, we don’t know.”
Health minister Raghu Sharma said the state is fully prepared to execute vaccination; from developing centres and ambulance service will be available; at all the centres in case of any adverse reaction.
He said, “We have conducted dry-run at 19 places including Jaipur; and even at private hospitals.” Sharma said that the Centre us yet to communicate on the number of vaccines, its cost, and the procurement procedure.
Health officials in Assam said around 1.5 lakh healthcare workers and frontline staff registered with the government would be administered the vaccine in the first place which will begin most likely in February.
“We have not received any confirmation from the Centre on the number of vaccine doses that Assam would get,” said S Lakshmanan, director, National Health Mission, Assam. He said the state governments cannot directly purchase the medicines.
Dr. K Sudhakar, medical education minister, Karnataka, said all COVID-19 warriors will be administered the vaccine in the first phase free of cost. “We will also use the existing infrastructure and the Centre will augment the additional infrastructure as required,” he said. The minister said that the vaccine is expected to be available in January itself.
He said, “We are awaiting directions from the Centre on the next steps.”
According to Punjab’s COVID-19 nodal officer, Dr. Rajesh Bhaskar, as of now, there is no information on when the vaccine will be administered.
He said, “State has also not received any tentative plan either,” he said adding the state has already submitted data of 1.6 lakh frontline workers to the Centre. Health secretary Hussan Lal said the vaccine will be given to about 70 lakh people in a phased manner.
Chhattisgarh is waiting for the Centre’s nod to start the vaccination drive. Health ministers TS Singhdeo said the state will receive vaccines from the Central government and the exact date has not been decided. He said, “In the first phase, the vaccine would be given to 2.54 lakh registered health functionaries in the state.”
Kuldeep Singh Martoliya, the state’s nodal officer for the COVID-19 vaccination; said that the Uttarakhand government is expecting to receive vaccines; from the Central government soon.
He said, “We have been assured that vaccines will be provided to us by early 2021. Uttrakhand government has shared the data of over 94,000 health care workers; with Centre.” He further added that in the second phase, they will share data of citizens above the age of 50 and with co-morbidities.
About 4.5 lakh health workers will be administered vaccines; at primary health centres, community health centres, and district hospitals, said the nodal officer for vaccination Dr. Santosh Shukla. He said more than 2,000 ice-lined refrigerators have been provided for the storage of vaccines.
The Haryana health department will conduct a dry run across the state; on January 7 as a precursor to the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out to test preparedness. The department has already identified 19,000 vaccination session sites and about 5,145 vaccinators; have been mapped for the process of administering the vaccine.
Around 4.39 lakh healthcare workers will be vaccinated in Bihar and 14,724 vaccinators; have been identified so far, said health minister Mangal Pandey, adding the state is in the process of giving; last-minute training to its vaccinators and immunisation officers.