Kerala will have a comprehensive database of health workers for COVID-19 vaccination by the end of November, as per the plans of the state Health Department. The state has begun compiling data of health workers, field workers as well as medical professionals for vaccination in the first week of December. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in October had issued a circular to the Health Department of all states and union territories, asking to collect data of all frontline healthcare workers of government and private hospitals.
The Union government, on October 23, sent an excel sheet based template that was developed for the data collection. Health workers are among the priority category once a vaccine becomes available for the novel coronavirus.
A presentation that included guidelines and a link to download the template for collecting data had also been shared. Dr Rathan U Kelkar, State Mission Director of the National Health Mission told TNM that the data collection is expected to be completed by the end of November.
District Medical Officers (DMOs) have been entrusted with the task of overseeing the process. "The process is still on, we are collecting it from all the institutions and we are expecting to complete it by the end of this month," Kelkar said.
The database created is that of all health workers not solely of those who are on COVID-19 duty. Data of workers in healthcare facilities including pharmacists, technicians, security staff and ward boys, who would be included under the mammoth process.
"The process is on-going , there is no particular deadline set by the Union government," Kelkar added. State Nodal Officer of COVID-19 Dr Amar Fettle told TNM that the collection includes categorised data of healthcare workers of both government as well as private sector.
The state had previously done such data collection of health workers in 2012 and 2014 for H1N1 prevention. However this is the first time that an elaborate, comprehensive data is being collected for one particular purpose. â€śFor H1N1, it was done several years ago and there has been a gap since then,â€ť Dr Amar said.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that healthcare workers and people aged above 65 will be early recipients when a vaccine becomes available. He has also said that it's estimated that by July-August 2021, 400 to 500 million doses will be made available for 25 to 30 crore people.