VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh is gearing up its machinery for administering Covid-19 vaccine to nearly one crore people. The state government has divided beneficiaries into four categories, who will be given the vaccine in four phases.
Nearly 3.69 lakh health care workers will get the vaccine in Phase I, 10 lakh frontline workers from departments of medical and health, revenue and police in Phase-II, and 60–70 lakh people aged above 50 years in Phase-III. The remaining people to be vaccinated in Phase-IV will be those aged below 50 years but suffering from multiple health complications.
AP has started its preparations, though it is centre’s prerogative to zero in on the type of vaccine and its timing of administration. Depending on the vaccine type, state health authorities will decide on the schedule of the first and second dose of vaccine. Duration between them may range from a few weeks to months.
The centre recently dispatched to Andhra Pradesh a fleet of 36 ice-lined refrigerators with a storage capacity of 225 litres. On an average, three each of these will be stationed at every district headquarter. Covid-19 vaccine can be stored in these refrigerators at temperatures ranging from plus two to plus eight degrees centigrade.
A vaccine storage facility is also being set up in Vijayawada. Similar facilities will be established at regional and district levels. Distribution of vaccine will be through a software application called Co-WIN (Covid-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network). Doses of vaccine will be delivered at targeted destinations while physically maintaining the cold chain.
Authorities will soon call for tenders to procure refrigerated containers for nearly six months on rental basis, so that they can be used for local transportation of the vaccine in districts.
Nearly 20,000 auxillary nurse midwives (ANMs) have been identified as potential vaccinators, who will administer Covid-19 vaccine in Phase-I throughout the state. Doctors, staff nurses, pharmacists and other health personnel, both serving and retired, will be roped in for administration of vaccine during Phase-II.
A senior health official said, “All preparatory work for storage, management and administration of vaccine has been completed. Once the centre releases the vaccine along with guidelines, we will take up the vaccination programme accordingly.”