COVID Vaccination: How well prepared is Manipur?
Manipur identifies 39,991 healthcare workers for COVID-19 vaccination first phase as Centre plans to inoculate 30 crore population, including HCWs.
Manipur has identified a total of 39,991 healthcare workers (HCW) working in various districts of the state for COVID-19 vaccination in the first phase estimated to be given to one crore HCW and two crore frontline workers for the nation. The question on many minds is - how well prepared is the state for the COVID-19 immunisation programme?
State nodal officer (Immunisation), Dr Th Nandakishore expressed confidence and told the Imphal Free Pressthat the state has taken up all necessary steps for COVID-19 vaccination as per the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry's (MoHFW) instruction.
The ground preparation
Speaking to the Imphal Free Press, Nandakishore said the Government of India had set the target of 41,000 HCWs from the state for the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination. However, so far 39,991 HCWs have been identified, including from private and government hospitals, Anganwadi workers and helpers, Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) supervisors and Child Development Project Officers (CDPOs).
The total number of HCWs selected from the districts are Imphal West-8,326, Imphal East-7,515, Jiribam-547, Thoubal-3,031, Kakching-1,985, Bishnupur-2,633, Churachandpur-3,388, Pherzawl-692, Ukhrul-1,569, Kamjong-990, Chandel-1,700, Tengnoupal-1,131, Senapati-1,873, Kangpokpi-2,783, Tamenglong-1,132 and Noney- 696, he said adding that an orientation programme on creation of a database for COVID-19 vaccination at the district level as per government of India was held on October 24.
When asked about the reluctance of HCWs to get vaccinated fearing side effect, he stated as per guidelines of GoI, vaccination should be voluntary. The HCWs identified for the state so far came out willingly to join in the first phase with the understanding that the vaccination is a permanent solution to curb this pandemic, he stated.
The Steps taken
The state nodal officer further said that as a part of the preparation, various other steps are taken to make sure that the vaccination process is carried out successfully. Some of the steps include the constitution of the first steering committee on COVID-19 vaccination under the chairmanship of chief secretary, the Manipur government on November 25 and state task force immunisation meetings were held twice.
Besides, a control room for COVID-19 vaccination at the state Directorate of Family Welfare was opened. Out of 16 districts, 10 districts had conducted district task force meetings for COVID-19 vaccination. Training of trainers on COVID-19 vaccination was also introduced on December 15, he added.
The cold chain
When asked about the cold chain storage to keep the vaccines, Nandakishore said that the state has altogether 126 cold chain points in various districts even in the periphery. Among the total cold chain points, 27 are run with the support of solar energy as the places are yet to receive electricity, he said.
The vaccine doses
Talking about the doses of vaccine to be administered, he said that according to the MoHFW report, as many as 274 candidate vaccines are in different stages of development as of December 4 across the globe. The majority of vaccines that reached clinical evaluation as of December 4 will require two-dose schedule and it has to be administered between two, three or four weeks apart through intramuscular route, the nodal officer said.
Is vaccination a permanent solution?
Nandakishore maintained, “Vaccination is the permanent solution to contain COVID-19 pandemic and as such the department has taken up all steps in full swing so that it can be started immediately.”
The various vaccines in different stages of clinical trials in India, according to the MoHFW are Bharat Biotech’s in collaboration with ICMR Covaxin; Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, vaccine developed by Zydus Cadila and Sputnik V Vaccine manufactured with Dr Reddy’s Lab in collaboration with Russia and vaccine developed by Biological E Ltd, Hyderabad, in collaboration with MIT, USA.
The Centre planned to inoculate 30 crore population including HCWs, frontline workers, persons above 50 years of age and young people with comorbidities.