The Gujarat government has put together the cold chain infrastructure to store and transport COVID-19 vaccine alongwith a system for vaccination and lists of priority beneficiaries, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said on Saturday. The first priority will be given to healthcare workers, said Patel, who handles the health portfolio, while speaking to reporters in Gandhinagar.
"We have created the entire cold chain infrastructure for storage and transportation of vaccine, teams of vaccinators, and the list of priority beneficiaries," he said.
As many as 47,796 vaccination centers have been identified in the state to administer the vaccine and 15,534 teams will be deployed for this, Patel said. People who are to be vaccinated will be notified in advance through SMS about the date, time and place.
A high-level committee headed by Chief Secretary Anil Mukim and consisting of secretaries of various departments has been formed, and Mukim is coordinating with health officials to ensure that the vaccination is provided upto the village level, he said.
There are six vaccine stores at zone levels, 412 at district and municipal corporation levels, and 2,189 cold chain points to transport the vaccine to remote areas, he said, adding that a technical audit of the system has been carried out.
Permanent refrigeration facility is available across 2,189 PHCs and CHCs, he said. The Union government has provided 150 out of 169 ice-lined refrigerators, and the state will also arrange 30 deep freezers, he said.
"The government has also prepared lists of beneficiaries as per the priorities decided by the central government. Around 3.9 lakh healthcare workers including 2.71 lakh government doctors, nurses, lab technicians and class-3 and 4 employees as well as 1.25 lakh doctors, nurses, lab technicians and employees of private hospitals engaged in COVID duty will be given the first priority," he said.
Police, home guards and others engaged indirectly in dealing with the pandemic will be given the second priority, he said.
"We have collected the names and addresses of beneficiaries of first and second priority, and begun preparing the list of third priority of those over 50 years of age. List of people under 50 but with serious ailments is also being prepared," he said.
Mission Director of the National Health Mission MA Pandya has been appointed as Nodal Officer to oversee the vaccination drive. At the district and corporation levels, Collectors and the Municipal Commissioners have been appointed as Nodal Officers.
At the state level, the progress of the program will be reviewed by a committee under the Chief Secretary, and a task force has been constituted under the chairmanship of the Health Secretary, the deputy CM added.