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Covid-19: 70,000 vaccinators, another 30,000 from private sector, to give shots

(This story originally appeared in on Nov 29, 2020)

NEW DELHI: The government is preparing a list of vaccinators required to administer the Covid-19 vaccine —first to an estimated 30 crore priority population in the initial months of 2021 and gradually to others.

While there are around 70,000 vaccinators in the public sector, the private sector is likely to contribute around 30,000 more, including doctors, nurses and lab technicians who can innoculate people once a vaccine against SARS-CoV2 is approved in the country, official sources said.

A well-trained vaccinator along with a facilitator can administer an average of 20-25 shots per hour, though they may actually be called on to do less than that, an official said.

The 70,000 vaccinators in the public sector are currently part of the Universal Immunisation Programme. Majority of them will be in action in the first phase of Covid immunisation when the focus will be on healthcare and other frontline workers.

Lead

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 has recently reached out to FICCI, CII and some of the large hospital chains asking for estimates on availability of vaccinators who can be dedicated for Covid immunisation.
“We have asked our members to indicate the resources they can dedicate. However, we have also asked the expert group to tell us whether some specific criteria or training is required for such innoculators,” a senior official in CII said.

Once the list of vaccinators for Covid-19 is ready, it will also be updated on the Covin database being prepared by the Centre to streamline vaccine procurement, distribution and administration processes, an official said.

“The existing vaccinators in the public sector may not be enough to inoculate such a large population against Covid-19. Therefore, private sector participation is important and there are doctors and vaccinators in the private sector who can be roped in for the purpose,” said Dr Suneela Garg, director professor at the department of community medicine in Maulana Azad Medical College. The official said the government is also looking at the digital iGOT platform to train new vaccinators. The categories may include MBBS, paediatricians, nurses, ANMs and lab technicians.

The integrated training portal is a platform for capacity-building of frontline workers to handle the pandemic efficiently. The portal has added many new courses since the beginning of the pandemic to cater to the new human resource demand in healthcare.

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