Work is underway in full swing to set up centres for Covid-19 vaccination in the national capital with 500 such units to come up in the first phase, even as the storage facility is getting equipped with freezers to hold vaccines in a temperature range of 2-8 degrees Celsius.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday had welcomed the approval given for emergency use of two Covid-19 vaccines, and asserted that the city government was all set for the vaccination drive as soon as any vaccine arrives.
A total of 1,000 vaccination centres will be set up. And, 500-600 centres will be set up in the first phase, for which work is underway in full swing, officials said. India’s drugs regulator has approved Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.
“We are all ready with our preparations, from storage to logistics, and on Saturday, a dry run was conducted at three sites to assess the preparedness for the vaccination roll-out. Vaccination can begin as soon as the vaccine arrives in Delhi, which we expect in a few days,” Jain said on Sunday.
As part of the first phase, about three lakh healthcare workers and nearly six lakh frontline workers will get the vaccine.
The city government has announced that the vaccine will be provided to people in Delhi for free-of-cost.
While the Covid-19 situation seems significantly under control, several people arriving here from the UK and being detected with the new strain of the coronavirus, has caused a bit of concern, but authorities said they were totally alert.
Delhi recorded 424 fresh Covid-19 cases, the lowest in over seven months, and 14 new fatalities on Sunday, even as the positivity rate slipped to 0.62 per cent. The infection tally in the city stood at over 6.26 lakh and death toll rose to 10,585.
The minister has said the Delhi government has so far made preparations to vaccinate one lakh people in a day. Social distancing will be maintained, and people will be admitted to the centres in batches of 10, he added.
The Delhi government is fully prepared to receive, store and administer Covid-19 vaccine to 51 lakh priority category persons in the city in the first phase of vaccination, the minister had earlier said.
These include healthcare workers, who will be thr first to receive, followed by frontline workers, people aged above 50 and those below 50 years but with co-morbidities, he added. Vaccination centres will either be hospitals or facilities linked to hospitals.
Emergency rooms will be set up at the centres, and those getting the vaccine dose will be kept there under observation for half an hour, to see if there is any side effect.
“A monitoring station has been created at a vaccination centre and any side effects, like headache, body pain will be immediately looked into, and hospital linkage anyway is there,” Jain said.
On the storage facility preparations at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH), sources said, 90 freezers have arrived and nearly half of those have been installed, adding cold chain equipment have also been set up.
“The facility being set up at RGSSH can store vaccine in a temperature range of 2-8 degree Celsius…. But, as of now, we have not received any information, as to which vaccine will be sent here,” a source told PTI.
RGSSH, recently made a partially Covid-19 facility, has 650 beds and played a significant role in the combat against the pandemic in 2020.
There will be two cold chain equipment for storage. The ground and first floors of the utility block, measuring about 4,700 sq ft, will be used for the storage facility on the hospital premises.
“Officials of Delhi State Health Mission are monitoring the setting up of the storage facility on a daily basis,” the source said.
(Cover: A dry run or mock drill is being done for Covid-19 vaccine at an urban community health centre, in Ajmer, in the Indian state of Rajasthan on 02 January 2021 / Credit: Getty Images)