|Centre asks States, UTs to set up 3-tier system for rollout|
|COVID vaccine drive will take a year for completion|
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Oct 31: The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will take more than a year, and will start with healthcare workers, followed by other groups to be added "sequentially", the Central Government has told States and Union Territories (UTs) in a letter.
The letter written by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in possession of Early Times states that the government has asked States and UTs to put in place a three-tier system to oversee the rollout of the vaccine and address any hiccups, including rumours.
Among other things, the committees will coordinate work on updating the database of health workers -the COVID-19 Vaccination Beneficiary Management system (CVBMS) that the government seeks to create to ensure smooth administration of the vaccine.
The three tiers will comprise a state steering committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, a state task force, headed by the Principal Secretary (health), and a district task force, led by the district magistrate. The committees should meet at a minimum frequency of once a month, once a fortnight, and once a week, respectively, the letter adds.
It is anticipated that initially the supply of vaccine will be limited in view of huge demand, hence, prioritisation of socio-demographics group will be done for vaccination and subsequently other groups will be included for vaccination," states the annexure.
"In all likelihood, the Covid-19 vaccine introduction will span over a year with multiple groups being included sequentially, starting from healthcare workers (HCWs). Therefore, it is important to create strong advisory and coordination mechanism at state and district level to guide the process of Covid-19 vaccine introduction while ensuring minimal disruption of other routine health care services, including immunisation," it reads.