4,000 healthcare workers to get Covid vaccine on first day in Telangana
Hyderabad, Jan 15 (IANS) The stage is set for Covid-19 vaccination rollout in Telangana where 4,000 healthcare workers in government-run facilities will receive the first dose on Saturday.
Health authorities have made all arrangements to vaccinate the beneficiaries at 139 centres spread across all 33 districts in the state.
Health minister Eatala Rajender and director of medical education Ramesh Reddy will receive the vaccine at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.
Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan will participate in vaccine rollout programme at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS).
Ministers, members of Parliament, members of state legislative assembly and council and public representatives down to the level of village sarpanchs will participate in the programme in district and area hospitals and in primary health centres in rural and urban areas.
Director of public health G. Srinivas Rao said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the programme in virtual mode at 10.30 a.m. Arrangements have been made for two-way communication at two vaccinations centres at Gandhi Hospital and a rural health centre at Narsingi.
A maximum of 30 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each centre. The numbers will be ramped up in phases from Monday and in coming days this will reach the maximum level of 100 per centre.
Majority of beneficiaries during the first few days of the vaccination drive will comprise staff from sanitation and security wings of teaching, hospitals, district hospitals and area hospitals and ASHA, Anganwadi and other workers at primary health centres .
The state health authorities have identified 3.15 lakh healthcare workers in government and private institutions and registered them in Cowin application, especially developed for Covid vaccination.
The number of centres for vaccination will also be increased gradually from Monday and in next few days the programme will be conducted at all 1,213 centres depending on the availability of the vaccine doses.
Srinivas Rao said Covid vaccine will be given between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday while routine vaccination programme for children and women will continue every Wednesday and Saturday. There will be no vaccination on Sundays and public holidays.
The state has so far received 3.74 lakh doses from union ministry of health and family welfare and they were stored in 2-8-degree temperature. The authorities have already transported over 50, 000 doses to the districts.
The authorities reassured beneficiaries that both Covishield and Covaxin approved for emergency use by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) were safe and that there is no need for any apprehensions.
When his attention was drawn to reports that some doctors were not ready to take Covaxin as its third phase trials were not completed, director of public health said there should be no discrimination between vaccines.
He said as per Government of India guidelines consent will be taken from those who will be receiving Covaxin shot. Their health status will be examined and scrutinised before giving the vaccine and after vaccination they will be monitored for seven days for any adverse events. Similar process will be followed after the second dose which will be given after four weeks.
“We should be proud that Covaxin has been developed indigenously and that too on the soil of Telangana. Nobody should have any worried. If necessary, I will take Covaxin in coming days,” he said.
The officials said they were strictly following the protocols prescribed by the union ministry and the directions of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to deal with any case of reaction following Covid vaccination.
An observation room has been set up at each centre where every beneficiary will be monitored for 30 minutes after vaccination. The department has arranged vehicles to shift anybody who may develop some reaction after taking the vaccine. Intensive care units with 5-10 beds have been set up at 57 hospitals across the state to tackle such cases. This arrangement will be in place for entire period of vaccination which may last eight to nine months.
“We vaccinate lakhs of people every year under routine immunisation programme. Reactions like pain and developing fever are not uncommon after taking vaccines. One in lakhs may have adverse reaction after vaccination and we are fully geared up to deal with this,” said Ramesh Reddy.
He hopes that Covid vaccination will weaken intensity of the disease as happened in the case of Swine Flu.
“After taking vaccination antibodies will be developed to face the infection. T cells get activated and antibodies kill that particular virus. If this happens we will break the cycle and if we break cycle, the disease will die natural death. Even if it comes back, it will not be intense,” he said.