‘COVID-19 vaccination drive based on election process planned down to booth level’: Harsh Vardhan

COVID-19 vaccination drive has been based on an election process planned down to the booth level, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday.

“Vaccination drive has been based on election process planned down to the booth level. A humungous exercise to augment skilled personnel is underway. 57,000+ participants across 719 districts have completed training. 96,000 vaccinators have been trained so far,” Vardhan tweeted.

The Minister had on Saturday visited two mock vaccination sites in Delhi to review the dry run drill for administering the COVID19 vaccine.

He first visited the GTB Hospital in Shahdara and later an Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) in Daryaganj.

Ahead of the actual vaccination drive, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare yesterday conducted a nationwide mock drill at 285 session sites to test the end-to-end planned operations and the mechanism that has been set up to ensure smooth conduct of the COVID19 vaccination that is expected to begin soon.

The Union Minister appreciated the tireless efforts being made by multiple stakeholders including the central and state government officials who have worked proactively in the last few months to ensure the success of this humongous operation.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the digital platform, Co-WIN, repurposed from the e-VIN platform is the real game changer, and will provide real time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. This unique platform will assist the program managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule. More than 75 lakh beneficiaries have been registered on Co-WIN platform till date, he said.

Speaking on the preparedness for ensuring that the vaccine reaches even the remotest corner of the country, Dr Vardhan said that the country’s cold chain infrastructure has been sufficiently upgraded to ensure last mile delivery. Adequate supplies of syringes and other logistics have also been provided for.

Dr Harsh Vardhan warned the citizens against falling prey to rumours and disinformation campaigns regarding the safety and efficacy of the COVID19 vaccine. He rubbished the rumours being propagated on social media which are raising doubts in the mind of the public regarding the vaccine side-effects. He urged the media to exercise caution and to behave responsibly and check all facts before publishing or broadcasting any reports.

Dispelling doubts regarding the country’s capability to undertake such a massive vaccination drive, Dr Harsh Vardhan described how India has unparalleled experience in dealing with immunization and runs one of the largest immunization programs in the world. He noted that India has been applauded by the world for its robust Universal Immunization Programs. He said India has conducted several successful immunization drives with respect to Polio, Rubella and Measles. He narrated his personal experience from the early nineties of having galvanized efforts of millions of Indians which eventually led to the eradication of Polio from the country.

“It is as a result of our steadfastness and dedication, that India was declared polio-free in 2014.  Our rich learning from the earlier immunisation drives including the Polio vaccination campaign is being used to guide our present countrywide COVID19 vaccination campaign”, he stated.