West Bengal is gearing up to administer a Covid-19 vaccine to frontline workers, with sources in the health department saying that the first shots may be given to health workers as early as January 13 or 14.
According to them, the Serum Institute of India’s “Covishield” vaccine is likely to arrive in the city from Pune by Saturday.
The sources said on Thursday that the government had prepared a list of healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses and hospital Group-D staff, who would be among the first to receive the vaccine.
Officials said all the districts had already been given proper instructions about the vaccination process. Once the vaccine arrives, people who are supposed to get it will receive an SMS with all the details, including the place where they will be administered the shot.
“It will be just like we conduct polls. We will have the data with all the details of people. Every vaccination site will be manned by special teams comprising a vaccinator and four vaccination officers, who will be responsible for conducting it successfully,” said a health official.
The Department of Health has already received a list of six lakh healthcare workers for the vaccination drive. At present, a list is being prepared with details of people above 50 years with various comorbidities. They will be on the second list after health workers. Apart from them, frontline workers such as police, civic workers will also be vaccinated in a phased manner.
While a healthcare worker will be the vaccinator, police officials, home guards and National Cadet Corps (NCC) personnel will be part of the team.
Meanwhile, the final vaccination trial in Kolkata will be carried out on Friday at the SSKM Hospital, the NRS Medical College, and an urban health centre under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation as part of a statewide drill.
“All districts are conducting dry runs at three health centres,” said a source.
All district health officials have been asked to prepare the vaccination sites. “We are all prepared, storage and list of people who will be getting the first shot have also been done. Tomorrow there will be a dry run at three places in my district,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) Alipurduar Girish Bera.
Meanwhile, West Bengal on Thursday reported 921 new cases as the active caseload dropped to 8,476.
According to the state health bulletin, in which figures are updated till 9 am, 1,295 were discharged as the recovery rate rose to 96.74 per cent. The toll rose to 9,881 with the deaths of 18 patients. The toll in Kolkata, the epicentre of the pandemic along with its adjacent districts, climbed to 2,996.
The health department said 35,867 samples were tested in 24 hours, taking the cumulative number of tests conducted to 73,36,021. The test positivity rate dropped to 7.61 per cent.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines