States are preparing for COVID-19 vaccination and receiving 41,000 freezers and 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators

(Representative photo) | Photo credit: IANS

New Delhi: The Department of Health announced Tuesday that guidelines for estimating cold chain devices have been issued in all states and have received at least 240 walk-in fridges, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-cold refrigerators, 41,000 freezers, and 300 solar fridges for COVID-19 vaccination.

Union Health Minister Rajesh Bhushan, speaking of preparations for the COVID-19 vaccine, said guidelines for the valuation of electrical and non-electrical cold chain devices and their strengthening have been issued to all states and union territories.

He said all states have already received 29,000 cold chain points and cold chain equipment, including “240 walk-in refrigerators, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-cold refrigerators, 41,000 freezers and 300 solar refrigerators”.

The guidelines for the management of the cold chain at the last points and at the meeting places were also issued.

The center has put in place a tiered governance mechanism that will support the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Bhushan said at least 36 states and UTs have completed state steering committee and state task force meetings. Around 633 districts have completed district task force meetings.

He said approximately 23 ministries / departments in the state and central governments have been identified and roles (planning, implementation, social mobilization, awareness raising) for the introduction of the vaccine have been assigned.

Bhushan said the Department of Health had also completed the training modules for doctors, vaccination officers, alternate vaccination officers, cold chain leaders, supervisors, data managers and ASHA coordinators, adding that both physical and online training had started in all states and union territories.

He said detailed instructions on infection prevention and control were given during vaccination.

The Minister of Health said that instructions have been given to states on the Treatment of Minor, Serious, or Serious Post-Immunization Adverse Events (AEFI).

“States must identify at least one AEFI management center in each block – primary health centers, community health centers, county hospitals, private health facilities, or other fixed health facilities with doctors and paramedical staff as AEFI management centers,” he said that each meeting location is associated with a specific AEFI Management Center would be linked.

AEFI reporting is done via Co-WIN, a digital platform for real-time monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccine. It will allow people to register for vaccination.