Chennai will be the hub of Government Medical Stores Depot (GMSD) for redistribution of vaccines.

A nurse administering a vaccine during COVID-19 dry vaccine drive
news COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, January 07, 2021 - 17:19

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan informed the public that another vaccine dry run will be conducted in the state on January 8. The state will have two walk-in coolers and Chennai will be the hub of Government Medical Stores Depot (GMSD) for redistribution of vaccines.

As states are gearing up for what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed ‘the world’s largest vaccine drive’, the Tamil Nadu administration has been busy arranging syringes and cold storage facilities. On January 5, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the COVID-19 vaccine drive will begin within 10 days with an emergency use authorization.

Talking to the reporters about the drive, Tamil Nadu Healthy Secretary Radhakrishnan said, Tamil Nadu will be conducting another dry vaccine run on January 8.  “In Tamil Nadu, there are 51 places with walk-in coolers to store the vaccines. As all the vaccines are coming to the state from the Union Government, Chennai will be the Government Medical Stores Depot for redistribution of vaccines and we have 2 walk-in coolers exclusively for COVID-19.”

Other arrangements by state government

The state government has also arranged for additional syringes and godowns to boost the vaccine drive. The centre has allotted 33 lakh syringes for Tamil Nadu, of which 28 lakh syringes have already reached the state. In addition, Tamil Nadu has arranged for 17 lakhs syringes.

“We have divided the syringes available with us and we are allocating them to 45 warehouses in the districts based on the number of health care workers present in each district. Once the Union government gives us a vaccine schedule, we are ready to start the vaccination drive,” he said.

The state has 2250 secondary cold storage facilities in various districts to ensure last mile connectivity.

“Accordingly, the godown in Periamet has a capacity for storing two crore vaccines. Here, they are planning to store vaccines for not only Tamil Nadu but other states. The vaccines will come in phases. The arrangements are also made to ready private cold storage facilities. So everything depends on the number of vaccines and when they will reach us as per Union government schedule,” he said.

Tamil Nadu has six lakh health care and frontline workers in the government and private sector and the vaccine shots will be administered to them first followed by elderly people, the Health Secretary confirmed.

The Health Secretary has also been examining waiting rooms, vaccination rooms and observation rooms in the state.

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