It’s good news for Covid-19 patients. The Vizag district administration is gearing up to administer the first round of vaccines by Sankranti in January. In the priority list of people to be vaccinated will be frontline health workers, and the district administration has already identified 60,000 health workers in the district who will be given the vaccine. A specific 16-member task force committee headed by District Collector V. Vinay Chand is meeting on a regular basis to work out the final modalities and it is learnt that the State government is also working closely with the Union Health Ministry to speed up the roll-out plan including pricing and other logistic and economic aspects.
According to Hello Vizag sources, two vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are likely to pave their way to the district. But according to Dr. P.V. Sudhakar Principal of Andhra Medical College, the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is also getting ready and its third trial is yet to be cleared. Speaking to Hello Vizag Jeevan Rani, District Immunisation Officer said the static refrigeration system in the district is ready and 1 lakh vaccines can be stored at any given point. In addition to this, what is required is a dynamic and mobile cold chain and we are ready for it as we already have a regular ongoing immunization program,” said Dr. Sudhakar.
Stating further Dr. Sudhakar said the Moderna vaccine needs to be frozen at minus 20 degrees Celsius, but they can be stored for 30 days in a refrigerator at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Accordingly, we are equipped with a static refrigeration system to store the vaccines, and our immunization team that has been running various immunization programs such as DPT and polio, are trained experts in storing vaccines in mobile freezer boxes and vaccinate people,” he said.
The most challenging aspect will be to identify new routes and employ more vehicles and vaccinators, as the vaccine needs to be given to a large number of people within a short period of time,” said Dr. Sudhakar. Two lakh frontline workers of GVMC staff, sanitation workers, police personnel, and revenue officials will be vaccinated in the second phase and the vaccine will be administered to 8 lakh people in the district who are in the 50-plus age group with co-morbidities in the third phase.
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