States prepare for vaccination against COVID-19, receive 41,000 refrigerators, 45,000 ice refrigerators

(Representative photo) | Photo credit: IANS

New Delhi: The Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that guidelines on assessment of cold chain equipment have been issued to all states and they have received at least 240 incoming refrigerators, 70 incoming freezers, 45,000 ice refrigerators, 41,000 deep freezers and 300 solar refrigerators for vaccine COVID-19.

Speaking on preparations for COVID-19 vaccine, Union Secretary-General Rajesh Bhushan said guidelines on assessment of electrical and non-electric cold chain equipment and its reinforcement had been issued to all states and union territories.

He said all states have already received 29,000 cold chain points and equipment for cold chain, which includes “240 incoming refrigerators, 70 incoming refrigerators, 45,000 frozen refrigerators, 41,000 deep refrigerators and 300 solar refrigerators.”

The guidelines for the management of cold chain in last points and session websites have also been published.

The Center has set up a multi-level control mechanism to support the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Bhushan said at least 36 states and UT have concluded meetings of the state steering committee as well as state task forces. About 633 districts ended meetings of the district task force.

He said that about 23 ministries / departments in the state and central governments have been identified and assigned roles (planning, implementation, social mobilization, awareness) for the vaccine development.

Bhushan said the Ministry of Health has also completed the training modules for doctors, vaccine officers, alternative vaccine officers, cold chain administrators, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators and added that physical and internet training has started in all states and union territories.

He said detailed instructions had been issued on prevention and control practices of infection during vaccination.

The Secretary of Health said instructions had been given to states for management of minor, severe or serious Adverse Events After Immunization (AEFI).

“States must identify at least one AEFI Administrative Center in each block – primary health centers, community health centers, district hospitals, private health facilities or any other fixed health facility with physicians and para-medical staff as AEFI Administrative Centers,” he said, adding that all session websites would be linked to selected AEFI Management Centers.

AEFI reporting will be done through Co-WIN, a digital platform for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine. It will enable people to register for vaccination.