New Delhi: Delhi has the storage capacity as well adequate trained professionals to inject the entire population of Delhi within a month once the Covid vaccine is made available, head of the state immunisation programme said on Thursday.
“We had already planned out the logistics for vaccinating 5 million children under the national MR [measles and rubella] vaccine campaign. The storage capacity is already there, we have a network for the childhood immunisation programme that can be used. And, if the nurses from hospitals are also pooled in for vaccination then the entire population of Delhi can be immunised in a month,” said Dr Suresh Seth, head of the state immunisation programme.
However, the vaccination is unlikely to be carried out all at once as it will depend on the number vaccines that get approval and the number of doses that are made available. Currently, all the vaccines that are in advanced phase III clinical trials require two doses to be administered.
On Thursday, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said schools in the city are unlikely to open before a vaccine becomes available. “There are no plans to open the schools as of now. A vaccine is likely to become available soon. Until we are completely assured about the situation is in control, schools are unlikely to open in Delhi,” he said during a press briefing.
HT had reported last month that the government had started collecting data of 13- categories of healthcare workers, including MBBS doctors, AYUSH practitioners, nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists and ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife). The central government has said that 30 million healthcare workers and frontline workers will be the first to receive any vaccine that becomes available.
HT had also reported that the government has identified a new storage facility at the state-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital in Tahirpur. The government currently has a vaccine storage facility in Civil Lines, which was used to store over 5 million doses of the MR vaccine for the national campaign that was to happen in 2019.
“We have deep freezers and other machines needed to safely store the vaccine. We might just need one more site where large quantities of the vaccines can be stored,” said a senior government official.
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