COVID-19: 41K Deep Freezers, 29K Cold Chain Points & More Being Set Up As India Prepares For Mass Vaccination

New Delhi: The Central government has activated its massive election machinery to prepare for the mega COVID-19 vaccination drive. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday laid the plans for cold storage chains to be used for the process.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said 29,000 cold chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators, 41,000 deep freezers and 300 solar refrigerators will be arranged and delivered to states for vaccine storage.

Training modules for medical officers, vaccinator officers, alternative vaccinator officers, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators etc have also been finalized. Physical training and workshops have also started.

“Adverse events following immunisation is a critical issue. When we undertake a universal immunisation programme, which has been done for decades, some adverse effects are seen in children and pregnant women after vaccination,” Bhushan said.

“We can’t deny chances of an adverse event when COVID-19 vaccination begins. The countries where immunisation has already begun, especially in the UK, adverse events took place on the very first day. So, it is essential that states and UTs prepare for this too,” he said.

To start with, 100 people a day will get vaccinated and everyone of them will be monitored for 30 minutes after getting the shot.

Bhushan has assured that eventually, everyone will get the vaccine.

The centre has also unveiled a digitalised platform named COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system to monitor the whole process in real-time. Citizens will need to register on this platform to get vaccinated and no on-spot registration will be allowed initially.

“These may include the challenge of ensuring over 1.3 billion people in India receive factual and timely information and updates on vaccine rollout progress and benefits, public’s anxiety and queries regarding government’s decision for prioritisation of vaccine administration, apprehension about the vaccines introduced after a short trial raising safety concerns, and fear of adverse events, misconception about vaccine efficacy, rumour and negative narrative in media/social media space and laxity observed in public adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour,” the document on guidelines for states read.

The latest electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections will be used to identify population aged above 50 years. Around 30 crore people are expected to be vaccinated in the first phase.

Also Read: Now Register On CoWIN App To Get In Line For Vaccination

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