The West Bengal government has asked private and government hospitals to prepare a list of health care workers (HCWs) before the rollout of Covid-19 vaccine possibly by early next year. According to sources, the state government is expected to submit the list to the Union government by mid November.
The move comes after the Union Health Ministry shared guidelines with all states on the procedure to create a database on health workers who will be first in line to receive the immunisation against coronavirus.
Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay has met Health Department officials and instructed them to prepare the database as soon as possible. In districts, district magistrates and chief medical officers will be responsible for data collection withing a stipulated time.
A senior health official said, “We have sent the guidelines for the database for HCWs and the excel form to all medical facilities in the state.” The Mission Director of the National Health Mission would be the nodal officer for coordination, the official added.
According to the Union government’s guidelines, frontline health care workers include ANM, Asha and Anganwadi workers, other nurses, paramedic staff, doctors, health supervisors, pharmacists, ward boys, sanitation workers and other staff in hospitals.
“Anticipating that Covid-19 vaccine may soon be available, GoI is preparing for its introduction in the country so that it can be expeditiously rolled out when available. One of the milestones in this direction has been the constitution of a National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC). The NEGVAC is guiding GoI on: prioritisation of population groups for vaccination; vaccine inventory management and tracking; monitoring of implementation processes; identification of vaccine delivery platforms, etc,” read the guidelines.
Meanwhile, Municipal and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim urged the Heath Department to include conservancy workers in the vaccination list. There has also been a demand to include police personnel in the list. The state government, however, is not ready to include these personnel in the list. “We are making the list according to the guidelines of the Government of India. But, simultaneously we are preparing a second list which will be include conservancy workers, police, government officials, and other personnel who may have direct contact with Covid patients,” said the official quoted above.
The Centre has said that Covid-19 Vaccination Beneficiary Management System (CVBMS) is already being created as an extension of the existing electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) module for tracking of all beneficiaries receiving the vaccine.
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