About 4,100 sanitation workers will be given vaccine against COVID-19 at 139 centres across the State to mark the launch of the nationwide programme on Saturday.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inaugural address in virtual mode at 10.30 a.m, 30 beneficiaries who registered themselves with CoWIN, a mobile app for Indians to get COVID vaccine, will be administered the doses at each centre on day one.
The number of beneficiaries will be gradually increased from Monday and the centres will also go up to a maximum of 1,213 during the period, said Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy and Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao.
They told a press conference on Friday that about 3.15 lakh public and private health workers, including doctors and nurses, will get the vaccine after the sanitation workers were inoculated. The second phase of the programme will be for people above 50 years of age and those suffering from co-morbidities. The vaccination will be only on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays.
Youth below 18 years, pregnant women, lactating mothers and people with anaphylactic reactions or blood clotting will not be given vaccine. Also, the present COVID positive patients and people with symptoms will be excluded. They will be eligible for vaccination after four to eight weeks from the time they tested negative or symptoms subsided.
Dr. Ramesh Reddy said the history of beneficiaries will be enquired from them before they were allowed into the vaccination room. They will be asked to wait in observation rooms to check body reactions to the vaccine for 30 minutes. All the centres were equipped with facilities to treat reactions and ambulances placed at their disposal to shift beneficiaries to referral hospitals if they developed complications.
As many as 57 teaching, district headquarter and area hospitals were geared up to treat Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI). Ten beds were provided in intensive care units of such hospitals with oxygen lines, ventilators, anaesthetists and physicians to treat the cases. A duty roster was given to the staff at these hospitals exclusively for the purpose.
The State has received 3.84 lakh doses of both Covishield and Covaxin, of which 55,270 doses were already despatched through cold chain points in temperatures ranging from two to eight deg C.
In Hyderabad, the vaccination will be given at 13 centres, including Gandhi and Osmania General Hospitals, ENT Hospital, Chest Hospital, King Kothi, Nampally, Vanasthalipuram, Golconda and Kondapur Area Hospitals.