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Jharkhand vaccine drive: data, convergence key challenges

The state government has asked the Public Relations Department to aggressively create awareness and quell misinformation.

Written by Abhishek Angad | Ranchi | December 9, 2020 1:36:19 am
The trouble that arose with the Australian vaccine, developed by the University of Queensland and the biotech company CSL, was related to its use of two fragments of a protein found in HIV. (Representational image)

With the Centre drawing out modalities for Covid vaccination, the Jharkhand government has also come out with a blueprint to vaccinate two lakh frontline health workers. However, the state faces three major challenges: on the definition of frontline workers, difficulty in collecting data from private hospitals and the convergence of various departments for the successful implementation of the drive.

The state government has asked the Public Relations Department to aggressively create awareness and quell misinformation.

Besides frontline health workers, the Centre has proposed vaccination covering 32 crore people between January and March. Jharkhand may cover a population of one to three crores during the same period, said an official privy to the Centre-State meetings.

However, a major challenge remains the definition of frontline workers. A source in the department said, “An agriculture or revenue official who is in the field during the pandemic should be considered as a frontline worker. The definition needs to widened.”

Data is another challenge. “In Jharkhand there are 246 government health facilities and 1,221 private ones. The major problem is that the private facilities are not giving the data… All Deputy Commissioners have been asked to form a team and go to respective private hospitals and collect data themselves,” said a source.

The next big challenge for the state is the convergence of various departments. “We are conducting talks, but it is going to be an arduous process. The Chief Secretary is holding review meetings regularly,” said the source.

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