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Bengal gears up for vaccination, 69 centres selected across state

Bengal gears up for vaccination, 69 centres selected across state
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Kolkata: Bengal government is ready to start Covid vaccination programme once it receives vaccines from the Centre. The Centre on Saturday announced the nationwide launch of Covid vaccination from January 16.

The State Health department is yet to announce the date when the vaccination programme would be kick-started. The department has already put in place adequate infrastructure, deployed manpower and extended logistic support to smoothly run the vaccination programme.

More than 69 venues have already been selected across the state where the vaccination drive would be conducted, a senior official of the Health department said. Nearly one crore people would be administered vaccines in the first phase which include the doctors, nurses, health workers, police personnel and all the front line workers. Initially, the doctors and nurses would receive the vaccines. Lists are being prepared for the other government staff members from various departments. The State government has already asked all the district administrations to submit the list of those who are fighting the Covid battle from the front. The employees of the civic bodies, PWD department, DM office staff will be included in the list.

Director of Health Services Dr Ajay Chakraborty said that the date of vaccination programme could not be fixed as the State government is yet to receive the vaccines. The mock drills were successfully carried out in all the districts to check the preparedness of administration in the district level. Micro planning is already in place. The Health department is ready to launch the vaccination drive from next week, Dr Chakraborty added.

"All the medical colleges and hospitals will conduct the vaccination programme gradually. Various health centres run by the civic bodies and the primary health centres in the villages will also host the programme. The drive would be conducted in all the blocks of the state," an official said.

According to sources, the Health department would send the vaccines to the far districts in refrigerated vans while the city adjoining districts have been asked to collect the vaccines on their own from the central medical store. The Health department has already provided training to those who will be involved in the process of vaccinations in various hospitals and health centers.

It is expected that vaccine developed by the Serum Institute will arrive in state any time now. The Centre has already given clearance to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and to Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India. The State Health department has sought around 6.5 lakh doses for the front line health workers in the first phase. The elderly people and those having comorbidities would be administered the vaccines during the next phase of vaccination. The Health department already plugged the loopholes during the mock drills in the districts ahead of vaccination. The health workers who would take part in the programme have been trained about the Co-WIN app required for documentation of beneficiaries.

The Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER), NRS Medical College and Hospital and Kolkata Municipal Corporation-run Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) and 69 vaccination sites had undertaken mock drills on Friday.

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