New POE of the government’s mega vaccination campaign

As India prepares for the coronavirus vaccination campaign with three candidate vaccines under regulatory review, the Union Ministry of Health has sent its operational guidelines to Union states and territories for distribution of the vaccine when available.

The document, which has been shared with all states, says that only 100 people per “session” at each site per day are likely to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

However, the number of people per “session” could reach 200 if logistics allow, the Center noted.

“If in any case, more than 200 people are being vaccinated within a session, then a full team of 5 people will have to be deployed separately (one vaccination officer and four vaccination officers),” the draft POE read.

The government, in a document exploring the best way to deploy the vaccine whenever it is available, says states and union territories can set the days for vaccination. “Carrying out the vaccination process [will be] similar to the electoral process ”, says the document of the Ministry of Health.

Under the government’s new Covid-19 SOP, a vaccination site must have three rooms or areas, including a waiting room, a vaccination room, and an observation room.

The Covid-19 vaccine will first be administered to healthcare workers (1 crore), frontline workers (2 crore), and people over 50 years of age (26 crore). After this, vaccines will be administered to those under 50 years of age suffering from a chronic critical illness (1 crore) (for a total of 30 crore people in the planning of phase 1), according to the plan of the Ministry of Health.

“One session for 100 beneficiaries. While most healthcare and frontline workers would be vaccinated at fixed session sites, vaccinating other high-risk populations may require outreach session sites and mobile teams and sites.” he said in the document.

Based on the voter list prepared in the Lok Sabha elections and the assembly elections, persons over 50 years of age will be identified.

Subsequently, the rest of the population will be administered the Covid-19 vaccine, provided it is ready for public use, depending on the spread and availability of this disease.

“Beneficiaries will be tracked through a digital platform called Co-WIN. All information on this platform will be updated in real time,” the draft SOP said.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan previously said that the country will seek to vaccinate 250 to 300 million people against the coronavirus in the first phase with priority by July next year.

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