The DERC's forthcoming guidelines will be designed not only to prevent such incidents but also to ensure that affected families receive the support they need during challenging times.
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness at session sites for COVID-19 vaccination trial run on 2 January.
Dr Vardhan also spoke with the officials of Delhi. Other than senior officials of the Ministry, those present included Udit Prakash, Secretary (Health), Delhi, District Magistrates and District Immunization Officers of Shahdara, Central and South-West districts where the three sites of Delhi are located:
- Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Shahdara
- Urban Primary Health Centre, Daryaganj
- Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka
Requesting every official to abide by the detailed checklist and SOP for vaccination that has been prepared by the Union Health Ministry and shared with the States/UTs to guide them in the dry run, Dr Harsh Vardhan pressed the need for perfect calibration between the administrative and medical officers to make the event a primer that would later enable the mass rollout of vaccines.
The officers responded that the designated team has been adequately trained for the purpose and that they will be personally monitoring each and every aspect of the process to identify gaps and report them back. They also apprised the Minister of the preparations done for the dry run including setting up of session site, the process of updation and collation of data, uploading it on CoWIN, training of the vaccinators, preparedness for any Adverse event following immunization (AEFI), cold chain management, the security of session sites and vaccine storage sites, etc.
Re-emphasizing the importance of such an event that involves mass participation similar to the elections, he said, “Let us attempt to implement it as a real exercise with attention to the minutest detail. Proper coordination will go a long way in building mutual understanding so that the upcoming vaccination drive may proceed without any glitch.”
Drawing from the Pulse Polio drive of 1994 in Delhi, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that as the exercise of vaccination is so integrally based on interaction and involvement of people, the relevant stakeholders, NGOs, civil society organization (CSOs) and others need to be mobilised. He also stressed on the need for adequate security arrangements at session sites and cold chain points and during vaccine administration.
Dr Harsh Vardhan interacted with the DMs of the Central, Eastern and South-West Districts and the Medical Superintendent of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Shahdara. They expressed confidence in their preparedness regarding the mock drill and assured the Union Minister that they are in all preparedness for the actual exercise of vaccination of the identified beneficiaries.
Dr Vardhan also updated the officers on the status of the two leading vaccine candidates whose data are being closely monitored by the Subject Expert Committee of DCGI. He appreciated the efforts of front-line workers and expressed his condolence for those Corona warriors who sacrificed their lives in an attempt to save others.