From retired doctors and nurses to home guards and civil defence personnel and even volunteers from the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathans, the Centre and state governments will tap every human resource that is available for the smooth implementation of the world’s largest vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Each vaccination site, according to official guidelines, would consist of at least three rooms and require a number of personnel to perform specific duties.
Vaccination Officer 1 would be from the police, home guards, civil defence, the National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme (NSS) or the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. His or her job would be to “check the registration status of a vaccine recipient and to ensure” that entry into the vaccination centre is regulated.
India’s vaccination campaign against Covid-19 is targeting offering protection against the viral disease to 300 million people by July, including health-care workers, front-line workers and the people most at risk of infection. They would be inoculated at both large public and private health facilities with a minimum of 100 vaccine recipients covered in each session.
“For health facilities with less than 100 beneficiaries, its frontline health workers would be sent to another vaccination site,” an official aware of the plan said on condition of anonymity. .
The duty of Vaccination Officer 2 would be to verify the identification documents of the recipients.Vaccination Officers 3 and 4 will be support staff who will be responsible for crowd management and ensure every recipient spends 30 minutes at the site after receiving a shot to see if there is an adverse reaction. The support staff would also provide information, education and communication (IEC) messages and support to the vaccinator as well as the vaccination team.
While the document verification and identification of the beneficiaries would be done in the first room, the second room would be used exclusively for administering the vaccine.
In this room, the vaccinator officers–doctors, nurses, pharmacists, auxiliary nurse midwifes, lady health visitors anyone else authorized to administer the vaccine — would inject the intramuscular vaccine by an auto-disabled syringe.
Indian drug authorities have last week approved Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for emergency use for the intended list of recipients. Officials have identified Covishield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc., as the main vaccine for India’s immunization drive against Covid-19 while Covaxin would be a supplementary measure.
Officials added that the Covid-19 vaccination may not take place daily but on select days in a week. “We also have to ensure that the ongoing universal immunization programme is not hampered. Each state has specific days allotted for the UIP. The Covid vaccination programme is likely to take place on the other days,” said a senior official involved in the planning.
The Centre’s guidelines sent to the states says: “Essential health services including existing routine immunization sessions should not be impacted or interrupted.”
While the vaccine maker would be responsible for safely transporting the vaccine to the designated consignee points in state capitals and big cities, the state authorities have to maintain vaccine safety during storage, transportation and delivery of the vaccine to the inoculation sites.