Bihar ready to vaccinate over 4 lakh healthcare workers against Covid-19

Bihar is prepared to vaccinate its 4.42 lakh healthcare workers, who have enrolled on the CoWIN portal for vaccination against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), even as training for vaccinators was stepped up so that there was no technical glitch.

The dry-run on Friday, to assess the state’s preparedness, was successfully carried out across 114 locations, including 30 government district hospitals, nine medical colleges, 16 private health facilities, 23 outreach session sites and 36 other locations across the state, said Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey.

He said Bihar was prepared to roll out the vaccine as soon as the Centre makes it available.

Meanwhile, the health department will continue to train vaccinators as well as potential vaccinators identified for the campaign.

The health department will depute three master trainers at the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) on Saturday to assist in the ongoing training session, said its superintendent Dr Bimal Karak.

The PMCH, which has between 3,500 and 4,000 healthcare workers, is among the biggest session sites in the state.

“We are training our staff, including security guards, nurses, ward attendants and paramedics, who will comprise the six-member vaccination team. The State Health Society will support us in training by deputing a few more master trainers tomorrow. We will have 10 teams. Each team will vaccinate 100 people in a day,” said Dr Karak.

An average 45-minute, including the 30-minutes in the observation room to assess Covid appropriate behaviour after vaccination, was required to vaccinate a person during the dry run at the PMCH, the superintendent added.

“Training of personnel for vaccination is an ongoing process. We have identified over 3,000 potential vaccinators apart from the regular vaccinators engaged in the routine immunization process,” said Patna civil surgeon Dr Vibha Kumari Singh.

Around 44,000 healthcare workers have enrolled in Patna alone, said Dr Singh. She, however, could not specify how many among them were doctors.

The vaccination officers carried out the thermal screening and checked the identity proof of the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries were then verified on the CoWIN portal. Twenty-five beneficiaries per session site participated during the dry-run.

Four locations were selected in Patna for the dry-run. These included the PMCH, Nalanda Medical College Hospital, Paras Hospital and Research Centre and Girls Middle School in Khagaul.

Three session sites, including a medical college or a district hospital, private health facility and urban or rural outreach centre were selected for the dry-run across 38 districts of the state.

Many district magistrates (DMs) visited session sites during the dry-run.

Darbhanga DM Thiyagrajan SM visited the Darbhanga Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and took stock of the arrangements, including the observation room.

The DM also talked to the vaccination officers and gathered information about verification of select beneficiaries. He also directed the civil surgeon to prepare a list of potential beneficiaries while asking DMCH principal to provide a list of remaining health workers.

In Purnia, three centres were selected – Red Cross society, Kasba primary health centre – besides district hospital for the dry-run. A total of 13,894 beneficiaries have registered on the CoWin application.

“Dry-run exercise went off without any hitch,” Purnia district magistrate Rahul Kumar said while expressing happiness over the successful dry-run.

In Kishanganj, the dry-run was undertaken at MGM Medical College and Hospital, district hospital and community health centre, Bahadurganj.

In Araria, besides the district hospital, the dry-run went off at Forbesganj and Jokihat sub-divisional hospitals.

In Katihar, the dry-run was undertaken at Sadar hospital, Tajganj Fasiya primary health centre in town areas and Katihar Medical College and Hospital.

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