MADURAI: Principal Secretary to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Dr J Radhakrishnan and State Minister for Cooperation, Sellur K Raju, inspected the preparatory work for Friday’s Statewide Covid-19 vaccination drive at the Government Madurai Rajaji Hospital.
The nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive will be flagged off at 10.30 am, following which the Chief Minister will inaugurate the vaccination drive in Madurai, said Radhakrishnan. Of the 2,000 vaccination centres in Tamil Nadu, 166 will function from Friday. “The first batch of 5.56 lakh vials of Covishield — made by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) — and Covaxin — made by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech — would be sufficient for the healthcare workers. The Centre has promised regular supply of vaccines,” he added.
As per the guidelines, healthcare workers will be given first priority. A total of 4,89,556 healthcare workers have registered for vaccination in the State. Bulk registrations for vaccination of frontline workers (police personnel, municipality workers, revenue officials and media persons) will be done by the respective departments in the CoWIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work) application till January 25.
Later, based on the approval from the Centre, registrations will be opened in a phased manner for those above the age of 50 and those with comorbid conditions. Lastly, it will be open to the general public.
Tamil Nadu has 2,704 cold storage facilities at secondary-care points. “Based on the CM’s instructions, 51 walk-in coolers have been set up for storage,” he said, adding that 28 lakh syringes have been distributed to vaccine centres in the State.
As many as 21,000 vaccinators have been trained and each centre has five, as well as a medical officer. “The first person would verify the patient’s identity; the second would verify the name in the application; the third would verify the vaccine; the fourth would be deployed in the observation room; and the fifth would manage the crowd,” he added.
To tackle rumours regarding the Covid-19 vaccines, the government will launch an awareness campaign, he said. Speaking on the efficacy of the vaccines and the hesitation of some healthcare and frontline workers, he asserted that both vaccines were safe. “The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved both vaccines and assured us that they are immunogenic,” he stated.