The COVID-19 vaccination programme for frontline workers, under Phase-II, began here on Wednesday. As per the initial plan, it was supposed to commence from February 6, but keeping the upcoming panchayat elections in mind, the district administration has started the Phase II from Wednesday.
In the Phase-II, the focus is on GVMC sanitation staff, sanitation staff in hospitals, police, revenue and panchayat raj department.
As per District COVID Special Officer and Principal of Andhra Medical College P.V. Sudhakar, one lakh frontline workers from across the district have been identified for Phase II.
Speaking to The Hindu, District Immunisation Officer Jeevan Rani said that the first phase in which health workers were listed are almost coming to a close and that is why we have started the second phase and it will run parallel to the first phase.
In Phase I, about 37,000 health workers were listed and close to 25,000 have already taken the jab.
Coming to the vaccine stock, the district has received 1.14 lakh vaccines, and it is sufficient to cover both Phase-I and Phase-II.
Of the total, 23,000 are Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech and around 91,000 are Covishield, developed by Serum Institute of India.
“We have sufficient stock, which is kept in freezers at the central storing facility at the District Immunisation Department, and from here they are dispatched to the session sites, where we have installed ice-lined refrigerators,” said Dr. Jeevan Rani.
Dr. Sudhakar also said that the session sites have also gone up to 200 from 43 and they will be increased, based on the requirement.
Though the first phase has gone by smoothly, officials feel that Phase-II and Phase-III, will be a challenging task.
In the first phase, the total number to be immunised was around 37,000. But in the second phase, it will be close to one lakh and in the third phase, it is going to be around eight lakh.
The third phase will cover people above 50 years of age with co-morbidities as well as senior citizens.
It is estimated that the second phase may take over a month for completion.