Delhi Govt Aims to Vaccinate Healthcare Workers for Covid-19 in Five Days

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As India awaits the coronavirus vaccine rollout with bated breath, the national capital is gearing up for ensuing the vaccination drive and aims to inoculate all the healthcare workers in the city within five days, a member of Delhi government's Covid-19 taskforce said on Wednesday.

The Delhi government will administer the coronavirus vaccine to 51 lakh people in the first phase. Initially, it will be given to three lakh healthcare workers, six lakh frontline workers, and 42 lakh people either above 50 years of age and below 50 years but with co-morbidities.

"Three lakh health care workers will get the vaccine in five days. That is our target. We would like to finish the whole process as early as possible with proper protocol," Dr. Suneela Garg, member of Delhi government's Covid-19 taskforce and advisor to ICMR told IANS.

The capital has 603 cold chain points and 1,000 vaccination sites will be set up at 48 government hospitals, 120 private hospitals, and Mohalla Clinics. Dr. Suneela said 100 people will be vaccinated at these 1,000 sites every day. "We should be vaccinating one lakh people every day."

The city government will also increase the vaccination points, as per the requirement. "Like in LNJP hospital, there are 3,900 health care workers. At the rate of 100 people a day, they cannot be covered quickly and hence at such places we will create 4-5 vaccination point so that over 500 people per day can be immunized daily."

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had recently said the manpower and the number of teams that the city requires for the administration of the vaccine, such as officers and workers, have been marked and trained for the task. Each team will have five people.

"We have trained about 3,500 health care workers for the vaccination process. The training concluded on Tuesday. As soon as the vaccine reaches the cold storage at the airport, it will be immediately dispersed," added Dr. Garg.

According to the Delhi government, the coronavirus vaccine will only be administered to those people whose registration has been done. Those people will be contacted via SMS and will be given full information regarding the vaccine rollout.

One person will get two doses each, which means that 1,02,00,000 doses will be required to be administered to 51 lakh people. The Delhi government has the cold storage capacity for 74 lakh doses, which it promised to ramp up to 1,15,00,000 doses soon.

The Central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of drive. It will be offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with two crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with comorbidities.

India currently has eight Covid-19 vaccine candidates, including three indigenous vaccines, under different stages of clinical trials which could be ready for authorization in near future.

Serum Institute-Oxford's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Pfizer vaccine are also in the fray for emergency use authorization.