Gurugram ready to start Covid-19 vaccination from next week

The district health department is planning to start the Covid-19 vaccinations in Gurugram from the next week, as part of the country’s biggest immunisation exercise to tackle the coronavirus disease, according to the senior officials.

More than 250,000 people in the district are likely to get the Covid-19 jab in the first phase, which includes over 36,000 healthcare workers who will be vaccinated initially. Ahead of the vaccination, the district health department is also preparing to conduct a Covid-19 vaccine dry run drill on January 7.

Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer, said, “In all likelihood, the vaccination exercise can start from next week. Since healthcare workers of the government and private hospitals will be covered first, the department is working on taking up at least 81 session sites for the vaccination. It will include at least two to three big private hospitals having more than 7,000 healthcare workers to facilitate vaccination. It is, however, yet to be finalised.”

The department has currently identified 181 vaccination sites. With the increase in the vaccine beneficiaries count, the session sites will also increase. In the first phase, healthcare workers, frontline workers, residents aged above 50 years and those below 50 years of age but with co-morbidities will be prioritised.

According to Yadav, the data collection of frontline workers, which includes municipal corporation workers, police and defence personnel, is yet to start. Combining all the prioritised population, over 6.5 million beneficiaries will be covered in the first phase across the state, with more than 250,000 from Gurugram alone.

Dry run at six sites

In gearing up for the vaccination, the district health department is also holding a dry run on January 7 at six sites. Earlier, the drive was to be held at three sites. On Monday, three more sites were added, according to Dr MP Singh, the district immunisation officer, to make the existing system robust before the vaccination starts next week.

Three additional session sites added to the dry run drill of Covid-19 vaccination include the community centre in Sector 56 (Tigra urban primary health centre), Government Senior Secondary School in Daulatabad and another in Chauma. The other three sites confirmed on Sunday were urban primary health centres of Wazirabad and Bhangrola, and Government Senior Secondary School at Basai Enclave.

On Monday, vaccinators and medical officers of the identified urban primary health centres received training from the state health department. A dry run has already been conducted in Panchkula on January 2. Singh said the thrust is on the usage of Co-WIN, a digital platform that provides real-time information on every aspect related to Covid-19 vaccination.

“From the availability of vaccine to giving jabs to the beneficiaries, the portal will be used at every step. For the dry run, over 150 healthcare workers are already registered. On the Co-WIN portal, their details are uploaded. It is only after the verification and the vaccination (as a part of the demonstration) that they are supposed to receive an SMS on getting the next vaccine jab,” said Singh, mentioning that teams are already been trained to work on Co-WIN platform.

At each of these sites, at least 25 healthcare workers will be part of the demonstration, along with a team of four vaccination officers and a vaccinator.

Requirement of workforce

To arrange for the necessary workforce at the sites — from police personnel to data operators and assisting staff — the health department officials on Monday met the deputy commissioner to discuss the requirement.

Singh said, “The women and child development department has agreed on providing ASHAs and ANMs, while the health department will use its own data entry operators along with vaccinators for the dry run.”

A request for more than 1,400 additional workers to assist 286 vaccinators, once the vaccine is rolled out, has already been placed with the district administration.

Senior officials of the state health department for vaccine procurement were unavailable for comment.

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