India is getting ready for the launch of the massive anti-COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16. And Karnataka – the second worst hit state in terms of absolute numbers – is making sure it has the logistics, including the cold chain storage, in place.
On Sunday, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar inspected the vaccine storage facilities in state capital Bengaluru.
“We have two walk-in coolers with a capacity of 45 lakh doses each. The Centre will provide one more walk-in freezer,” he said.
The minister had earlier said the state would soon get 13.90 lakh vaccine doses for phase 1, in which healthcare and frontline workers would be inoculated followed by those above 50 years of age and then those under 50-years but with co-morbidities like diabetes and hypertension.
“We have two vaccine-storage facilities in Bengaluru and Belgaum. Apart from this, we have five regional cold storage centres in Chitradurga, Kalburgi, Dakshina Kannada, Mysuru and Bagalakote. We also have a Corporation storage facility in every district. The BBMP (Bengaluru municipality) has 50 blocks and in all we have 2,767 cold chain points. So, all these will be utilized to distribute vaccines,” Dr Sudhakar said.
Vaccines will be sent to regional storage centres through 900 vaccine carriers and will be further distributed to districts from there. At least 24 lakh syringes, a little less than double the number of doses in phase 1, have arrived.
“Logistics are in place for storage and distribution of the vaccine,” a release from the minister’s office added.
Ahead of the January 16 rollout, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be interacting with chief ministers of all states through video conference on Monday, the minister said.
Last Sunday, the government approved two vaccines for emergency use – Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Pune-based Serum Institute of India’s Covishield.
Both are two-dose vaccines and can also be stored at normal fridge temperatures (two to eight degrees Celsius) making it easier to transport and store.
The CoWIN app (short for Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) would be used to manage the massive vaccination drive. It will use Aadhaar numbers to authenticate vaccine beneficiaries and send text messages – in at least 12 languages – with details of vaccination date and time.
The government has already held three nationwide dry runs to proof the vaccine delivery system.
Leave a Reply