In news : Covid-19 vaccine drive to start on January 16 in India as per the recommendations of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration
About the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration(NEGVAC)
- NEGVAC constituted by the government is providing guidance on prioritisation of population groups, procurement and inventory management, vaccine selection and vaccine delivery and tracking mechanism
- It was set up in August 2020 under the chairmanship of Niti Aayog member VK Paul, to conceptualise a strategy for coronavirus vaccine delivery in India.
- The expert committee held its first meeting on August 12 of this year.
- The meeting was chaired by Dr V K Paul, Member Niti Aayog along with Secretary (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) as co-Chair.
- National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) in consultation with State Governments and all relevant stakeholders have prepared and presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration.
- The Expert Group in consultation with the States is working actively on vaccine prioritization and distribution of vaccine.
Recommendations of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19 (NEGVAC)
It has recommended three prioritised population groups including
- About 1 crore Healthcare Workers (HCWs),healthcare providers and workers in the healthcare setting
- About 2 crore Frontline Workers (FLWs) which includes personnel from state and central police, armed forces, home guards, civil defence and disaster management volunteers, municipal workers
- About 27 crore prioritized age group population above 50 years and persons below 50 years with associated co-morbidities.
Steps taken by the government regarding Vaccination
- The Central Government is gearing up for the roll out of COVID19 vaccine across the country.
- As the vaccine administrators will play an important role in the vaccination process, training of trainers and those who shall administer the vaccine has been taken up across various States.
- To strengthen the capacity of our human resource for COVID-19 vaccine introduction and roll-out, detailed training modules have been developed for different categories of vaccine handlers and administrators including
- medical officers, vaccinators, alternate vaccinators, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators and all others involved in the implementation process at different levels.
- The training includes all operational aspects of training like organization of vaccination sessions, use of Co-WIN IT platform for management of the entire vaccination process, deployment of HR Cold chain preparedness, Management of adverse events, communications and intersectoral coordination, biomedical waste management, infection prevention protocols etc.
- As a step to prep up for administration of COVID-19 vaccine, and to assess the readiness of the planned activities, a dry run was conducted in four states to start with, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Punjab considering the geographical locations.
- An important focus of the dry run was on management of any possible adverse events following immunisation (AEFI).
Co-WIN IT platform
Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system – a digitalised platform – will be used to track enlisted beneficiaries for the vaccination and anti-coronavirus vaccines on a real-time basis.