Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said the government was ensuring a seamless last mile delivery of COVID-19 vaccine, which “is at the verge of being now available to the country.’’
At a videoconference with health ministers of State and UTs ahead of the second nation-wide mock drill of vaccine administration on Friday across 736 districts, he said all the States/UTs would start getting their vaccination supplies soon. He sought a robust preparation for the roll-out of the programme.
During the meeting, senior Kashmir officials raised the issue of not having enough technology to work with Ministry’s digital platform Co-WIN, repurposed from the e-VIN platform, which provides real-time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. The State sought for offline system for collecting and storing this data.
Ministers from States, including Bihar and Odisha demanded that MPs, MLAs and panchayat members should be included in the priority group of getting the vaccine, while others wanted the Centre’s assistance in getting the technical glitches cleared out and arranging enough transportation facility in time for vaccine supply and a template for registering the elderly and those with comorbidities. The States also sought an equal distribution of the vaccine and maintenance of a smooth supply pipeline to ensure adequate supply.
Dr. Vardhan noted that the objective of the mock drill on COVID19 vaccination was to simulate the actual vaccine administration event.
“The dry run will also familiarise the State, district, block and hospital level officers on all aspects of the vaccine roll-out. This activity will help administrators in strengthening the linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms, identify any residual challenges prior to the actual implementation and to provide confidence to the programme managers at all levels to carry out a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive,’’ said the Minister.
The country’s cold chain infrastructure had been sufficiently upgraded to ensure last mile delivery. “Adequate supplies of syringes and other logistics have also been provided for,’’ he stated. As per the feedback from the first mock drill, most of the States/UTs had a satisfactory conduct of the dry run.