Health ministry issues guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination

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The Union health ministry has issued guidelines for COVID-19 vaccines.

As per the guidelines, the government is planning to vaccinate people with each session having 100 beneficiaries per day. “If the session site has adequate logistics and space available for waiting room and observation room along with arrangement for crowd management, one more vaccinator officer can be added to create a session for 200 beneficiaries,” the guidelines said.

The document said that COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system, a digital platform, will be used to track the enlisted beneficiaries for vaccination and COVID-19 vaccines on a real-time basis. At the vaccination site, only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated per the prioritization, and there will be no provision for on-the-spot registrations.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be offered first to healthcare workers, frontline workers and population above 50 years of age, followed by population below 50 years of age with associated co-morbidities based on the evolving pandemic situation, and finally to the remaining population based on the disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

The ministry added that the priority group of above 50 years may be further subdivided into those above 60 years of age and those between 50 to 60 years of age for the phasing of roll out based on pandemic situation and vaccine availability. The latest electoral roll for the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly election will be used to identify the population aged 50 years or more.

The development of a vaccine is a time-consuming process that includes the following phases such as pre-clinical, phase 1 clinical trial, phase 2 clinical trial and phase 3 clinical trial.

Under phase one of the vaccination, it is planned to vaccinate nearly 30 crore population.

The ministry stated that all measures should be taken to avoid exposing the vaccine carrier, vaccine vials or icepacks to direct sunlight. Vaccines and diluents should be kept inside the vaccine carrier with the lid closed until a beneficiary comes to the center for vaccination.

The requirements for management of the cold chain for COVID-19 vaccination will vary depending on the type of COVID-19 vaccine, as different vaccines have different storage temperature ranges as States/UTs must ensure adequate cold chain storage capacity for the COVID-19 vaccine campaign, the document stated.

“High-level coordination at the national, state and district levels must be established for effective cooperation and collaboration among the key departments. 19 ministries at national level, 23 departments at state/district and numerous developmental partners are involved in planning the COVID-19 vaccine introduction,” stated ministry.

The vaccination team will consist of five members such as vaccinator officer such as Doctors (MBBS/BDS), staff nurse, pharmacist, auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), lady health visitor (LHV); anyone authorized to administer an injection may be considered as a potential vaccinator; vaccination officer 1 as at least one person (Police, home guard, civil defense, national cadet corps(NCC), national service scheme (NSS), endr yuva kendra sangathan (NYKS) who will check the registration status of a beneficiary at the entry point and ensure the regulated entry to the vaccination session; vaccination officer 2, which is the verifier who will authenticate/verify the identification documents; and vaccination officer 3 and 4 are the two-support staff who will be responsible for crowd management and ensure 30 minutes of waiting time by beneficiary post-vaccination.

Source : 1

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