By Aakanksha Khajuria
New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) A day ahead of the commencement of the world’s biggest immunization exercise, the national capital has completed all the preparations to innoculate its priority groups, with healthcare workers, who will be the first to receive the silver bullet, clearly excited.
The vaccination drive is slated to kick off on Saturday. The rollout is expected to cover three lakh frontline healthcare workers at 3,006 sites across India on the first day.
The Central Government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of the drive — one crore healthcare workers, two crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with comorbidities.
In Delhi, the vaccine will be administered to around 2.25 lakh healthcare workers at 81 immunization sites at Central government, Delhi Government and private hospitals, in Phase I of the drive. As many as 264,000 doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines have reached the city.
The doses are stored in bulk at a cold storage facility set up at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, from where they will be sent to cold chain points, and eventually to the vaccination sites. The government will provide a staff of 7-8 people at each vaccination site.
The staff includes security personnel, nurses, paramedics and a doctor. Three rooms are designated for the vaccination at each site divided into a waiting area, innoculation room and observation area post-vaccination. There will be a reception desk for the registration and verification of the beneficiaries.
Explaining the process of the vaccination drive, nodal officer of the Delhi Government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital Dr Ajeet Jain said, “The whole process from registration of beneficiaries to observation post-vaccination will take 45 minutes at the site. At the entry point, vaccination officer-I will verify all the documents of the beneficiaries. On being cleared, they will come to the waiting area and wait for their turn.”
“From the waiting room, they will enter the vaccination room. The rooms are equipped with a stretcher to shift the patient to the ICU in case of any untoward incident post-vaccination. An ECG machine, monitor and oxygen mask will be available on the spot. After receiving the vaccination, the beneficiaries will be kept under observation for thirty minutes,” Dr Jain added.
Dr Nakul Karunakaran, employed at the hospital, will be the first one to receive the shot. “There is a little bit of anxiety but at the same time, we feel very confident. I am hoping for the best outcome,” he said, adding that he, along with lakhs of healthcare workers, were waiting for this day since long.
The Medical Director of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital, India’s largest Covid-19 hospital run by the Delhi Government, said that their hospital is prepared to vaccinate the hospital’s healthcare workers on Saturday.
“Everybody is excited and waiting for the vaccine. We are waiting for that moment eagerly. Everything is in place,” said Dr Suresh Kumar.
On January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch India’s massive Covid-19 vaccination drive via video conferencing, even as adequate doses of Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ and Serum Institute’s ‘Covishield’ vaccines have been delivered across the country to all states and Union Territories.
The Union Health Ministry has said that 1.1 crore ‘Covishield’ and 55 lakh ‘Covaxin’ doses have been procured at a price of Rs 200 and Rs 206 per dose, respectively.
The Covid-19 vaccination is allowed only for those aged 18 years and above. Pregnant women or those who are not sure of their pregnancy and lactating mothers will not receive the vaccine.
The administration of the Covid vaccine should be done separated by an interval of 14 days. The second dose should be of the same vaccine as the first dose. Also, interchanging Covid-19 vaccines is not allowed.
(Aakanksha Khajuria can be contacted at [email protected])