Around 50,000 doctors from the CAPF (central armed police force) will be among those getting the first round of Covid vaccines starting early next year under the supervision of the Home Ministry. CAPF chiefs have been asked to prepare a database of frontline medical workers from their units.
Thursday’s meeting, led by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, was a follow-up to one held by the Prime Minister’s Office (and chaired by the Cabinet Secretary) in which it was decided the Home Ministry would define “frontline worker” – who have been given priority status in receiving the vaccine when one is available – in consultation with the governments of states and union territories.
A senior officer who was at the meeting told NDTV that doctors and CAPF health staff were on that list.
The officer said data relating to “frontline workers” would have to be gathered from various sources, including the police forces of states and union territories, the Home Guard and personnel from fire, civil defence and disaster management agencies.
A second officer told NDTV that they had been directed to identify priority personnel and define timelines and requirements.
Mr Bhalla also asked CAPF chiefs to submit an “order of precedence” for the delivery of vaccines.
“A projection on number of doses required for doctors, soldiers and officers is being prepared and also order of precedence,” an officer said, adding that cold storage chains also needed to be identified since it was not feasible to complete vaccination in a single phase.
“Early next year we will be starting vaccinating our men… for that background work needs to be order and that was the purpose of this meeting,” a senior Home Ministry official said.
The strength of the CAPF, which includes the Border Security Force (BSF), the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the National Security Guard (NSG) is about 10 lakh.