Advisor Bhatnagar reviews arrangements for implementation of COVID-19 vaccination plan

Jammu: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar today chaired a meeting to review the arrangements for smooth implementation of COVID-19 vaccination plan in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting was attended by Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo; Mission Director NHM, Bhupinder Kumar; Managing Director JK Medical Supplies Corporation, Dr.Yashpal Sharma; Director Health Services Jammu, Dr.Renu Sharma and other concerned officials of the department while as State Immunization Officer, Dr.Qazi Haroon and other officials participated in the meeting through video conferencing.

Speaking during the meeting, Advisor Bhatnagar directed the officials for effective planning beforehand, and compile the database of potential vaccinators, prioritized groups of beneficiaries to be administered the vaccine in its initial stages well in advance so that no bottlenecks are faced during vaccination drives.

Regarding the transportation and handling of the vaccines, Advisor directed the officials that robust mechanism should be put in place for smooth transportation of vaccines. He asked them to prioritize the transportation arrangements for hilly as well as snow bound areas.

To effectively deliver the vaccines at the grass-root level, Advisor Bhatnagar impressed upon the officers that inter-sectoral convergence between the frontline workers of various departments including health, social welfare, school education, rural development, and housing and urban development is must for the successful implementation of COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Highlighting the need for maintaining an open and transparent communication with the public to curb misinformation and rumours, the Advisor asked the officials to launch Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities on mass scale so that timely and effective information reaches out to public.

Advisor Bhatnagar also asked the department to develop a robust database to assess auxiliary requirements such as additional cold chain equipment and waste bags for bio-medical waste management and prepare plans for cold chain installation sites.

Financial Commissioner, H&ME, Atal Dulloo informed the meeting that vaccine will be available in next 10 days besides communication strategy as per the MoHFW guidelines has already been finalized.

He further informed the Advisor that district level trainings have already been imparted and required workforce has been prepared for effective implementation of the vaccination plan.

Giving detailed presentation on the occasion, Director Health Services Jammu informed the meeting that under phase-1 around 28 lakh persons will be vaccinated starting from healthcare workers both in government and private establishments, frontline workers including revenue officials, Anganwadi workers, armed forces, home guards, police, volunteers, municipal workers, etc, prioritized age group of persons above the age of 50 years and persons with co-morbidities.

Director Health Services further informed the meeting that 586 cold chain points have been established for vaccine storage besides sufficient vaccine carriers have been made available for transportation of vaccines for first phase.