The Karnataka government has initiated measures for delivery, distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine whenever it arrives as advised by the Centre, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Tuesday. The State Task Force on COVID-19 recently met and reviewed preparations made for vaccine storage and delivery, he said.
"The government has identified 29,451 session sites (vaccination sites) and 10,008 vaccinators as per the norms of the Universal Immunization Programme," Dr Sudhakar said in a statement. The Health Care Workers' data has already been compiled for all the government facilities.
At least 80% of the private health facilities have also shared their data. Compilation of data for the remaining 20% private facilities is likely to be completed in a week, the minister added. On the storage facilities in the state, the Minister said Karnataka has around 2,855 cold chain points for storage and distribution of vaccines.
"With a view to having a better supply chain network and distribution of vaccines in a timely manner, three new regional vaccine stores Bengaluru Urban, Shivamogga and Ballari have been proposed," Sudhakar pointed out. He opined that these newly proposed Regional Vaccine Stores will also require additional Walk-in-Coolers and Walk- in-Freezers.
The assessment of the Vaccine Stores has been completed, he noted. The state has 10 Walk-in-Coolers and 4 Walk-in-Freezers. Further, the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India is going to supply three Walk-in-Coolers and two Walk-in-Freezers for which necessary civil works are being initiated.
"In order to have an exact assessment of the cold storage capacity required for COVID-19 vaccine programme, the number of doses in each vial, the volume of a vial, need to be assessed," Sudhakar said. On dry storage, Sudhakar said the state needs to have a dry storage space assessment for the vaccine programme.
He explained that the Government of India has already allocated certain deep freezers and ice lined refrigerators as per the Universal Immunization Programme norms. Regarding the usage of animal husbandry department's facilities, the minister said in order to have adequate capacity, the cold storage facilities of the Animal Husbandry Department are also being compiled. Further, the spare cold storage facilities available with private hospitals especially the chain hospital is also being assessed, he added.