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Vaccine: Govt seeks health workers’ list

Health workers will be given the vaccine first, an official said.

SUBHENDU MAITI | Kolkata |

The state health department has directed all government and private healthcare establishments in the city and districts to fill up excel forms giving names and other details of frontline health workers who would be administered vaccines on priority basis.

The Union health ministry has already begun identifying about 300 million people in the country who would be given the vaccine first when it is ready. The ministry has already formed a National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) so that vaccination can be expeditiously implemented.

The expert group has identified frontline health and sanitation workers, police officials and elderly people with co-morbidities to get the vaccine on priority.

A senior official at Swasthya Bhaban said that frontline healthcare workers (HCW) include ANM, ASHA, ASHA supervisors, AWW, nurses, medical officers (allopathic doctors, medical teachers, doctors in administrative posts) AYUSH doctors, dentists, paramedical staff like technicians in laboratories and operation theatres, pharmacists, psychotherapists, radiographers, ward boys, medical students including AYUSH, support staff, clerical and administrative employees would be given the vaccine first.

“All periphery hospitals, mental hospitals, medical colleges (allopathic, homeopathic and AYUSH),health centres, private healthcare units and polyclinics have been asked to fill up the excel forms as per the directives of the NEGVAG,” the official said requesting anonymity.

The selected individuals will be given an estimated 600 million doses. Earlier this month, health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had said that India hopes to receive up to 500 million doses of coronavirus vaccines by July next year to inoculate about 250 million people.

Officials have said that giving the vaccine to India’s 1.3 billion people will be a mammoth exercise, likely to stretch well into 2022. The draft implementation plan, prepared by NEGVAC, has received inputs from central agencies and the states and incorporated them.

A handful of Covid vaccine candidates is nearing the end of last stage clinical trials. Two vaccine frontrunners including a USbased biotechnology company are set to release latestage and phase 2 trials this month.