Towards national Corona vaccination policy: A list of questions to be answered on Corona Vaccination program
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The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced publicly that Corona Virus vaccination drive will commence shortly may be by this week itself. However that would also require a host of questions to be answered. As a small contribution from our side we have prepared some questions that need to be answered before we go into the actual vaccination program. NGOs like Sangh parivar can also participate in this Himalayan task and prepare to work out the strategy.
Basically the Vaccination drive has the following categories of questions.
1. When to Start ?: Final approvals, certification etc.
2. How to start ?: Infrastructure facilities, Schools, hospitals to be used as centers.
3. Whom to be delivered ? Priority for elderly , sick, Medical personnel, Govt staff ?
4. Logistic support ?: How to make it reach in different parts,
5. Scientific facilities: Some vaccines (Pfizer) require -70 C degree temp. need specific equipment to carry. Refrigerated trucks, Freezers, Defrostation, Reading temps, sterile injections and needles etc.
6. Emergency handling: the what if factor, After effects if any.
7. Volunteers registration?: need to enroll volunteers to carry out the drive. Govt /school/colleges/medical can be some of the resources that can be used.
8. Public awareness? : As we see these days a lot of anti govt posts and disinformation is carried out through social media. Govt will need to handle this and lead some Awareness campaigns.
9. AVAILABILITY OF VACCINE IN SUFFICIENT NUMBERS is also something that the govt has to work out.
10. Last but not least the cost and funds factor ? : Govt will have to decide the cost and make it available for a large number of the population at a minimum price which will also be a challenge.
All big countries are coming out with this vaccination strategy as there are some complex issues at hand. China, EU, France, US, UK and some others are on the verge of initiating this Vaccination drive and have also come up with appropriate strategies for the same.
The Chinese government has yet to say how many people it plans to vaccinate. A Chinese official said plans call for vaccinating border personnel and other high-risk populations this month.
The companies are using more traditional techniques than Western developers.They say unlike Pfizer’s vaccine, which must be kept frozen at temperatures as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit), theirs can be stored at 2 to 8 C (36 to 46F). The Chinese producers have yet to say how they might be distributed.
Health officials previously said China will be able to manufacture 610 million doses by the end of this year and ramp up to 1 billion doses next year.
The European Union policy is quite comprehensive and the strategy has the following objectives:
Ensuring the of vaccines.quality, safety and efficacy
Securing to vaccines for Member States and their populations while leading the global solidarity effort.swift access
Ensuring to an affordable vaccine as early as possible.equitable access
The EU strategy rests on two pillars:
through Advance Purchase Agreements with vaccine producers via the Emergency Support Instrument. Additional financing and other forms of support can be made available on top of such agreements.Securing the production of vaccines in the EU and sufficient supplies for its Member States
to accelerate the development, authorisation and availability of vaccines while maintaining the standards for vaccine quality, safety and efficacy.Adapting the EU’sregulatory framework to the current urgency and making use of existing regulatory flexibility
US based CDC has issued the following guidelines for the vaccine:
Prepare vaccines in a clean, designated medication area away from where the patient is being vaccinated and away from any potentially contaminated items. This is to prevent inadvertent contamination of the vial through direct or indirect contact with potentially contaminated surfaces or equipment.
Health care personnel should ensure their clinic has the supplies needed to administer vaccines.
Health care personnel should complete proper hand hygiene before preparing vaccines.
Use a separate needle and syringe for each injection.
Always check the expiration dates on the vaccine and diluent, if needed. Some syringes and needles have expiration dates, so check those, too. NEVER use expired , diluent, or equipment.
Prepare vaccines only when you are ready to administer them.
Only administer vaccines you have prepared. This is a medication administration best practice standard. is drawn up by one person but administered by another, the person administering the vaccine cannot be sure what is in the syringe and whether it is safe.
Germany is rolling out the program in her usual methodical and high standards of professionalism. The federal government has already made it clear that risk groups such as senior citizens and those with underlying conditions, as well as staff from important sectors, such as the health service, are to be among the first groups to be offered the vaccine.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video statement on Sunday: “At the forefront are of course nurses, doctors and also people who belong to a risk group. However, that is already quite a large number (of people) in our country.”
The federal government of Germany also plans to establish a central database for the vaccinations.
“For this purpose, a web-based data portal is to be used, which is to be developed by the RKI (Robert Koch Institute) until the start of vaccination activities in Germany,” the report states.
Britain has become the first country to start the vaccination drive as medical facilities were seen carrying the vaccine across the country. The first 50 National Health Service (NHS) hospitals are gearing up for what the UK government has described as the “biggest immunisation programme in history” as the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 arrived at “secure locations” in the country from neighbouring Belgium this weekend.
Frontline healthcare staff, people over the age of 80 and care home workers will be among the first to get the vaccine as part of Phase 1 of the programme from Tuesday, which was approved for rollout by the UK’s independent regulator earlier this week. Patients aged 80 and above who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged home after a hospital stay, will be among the first to receive the “life-saving jab”. Hospitals will also begin inviting over 80s in for a jab and work with care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics.
The vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but there is a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers Pfizer NSE -1.19 % to patients.The vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but there is a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers Pfizer NSE -1.19 % to patients.
It needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used. Defrosting the vaccine takes a few hours and then additional time is required to prepare the vaccine for administering. The DHSC said that NHS staff have been working over the weekend to prepare the sites and accept deliveries. Each box needs to be opened and unpacked manually, and temperature data has to be downloaded from each box.
Thus we see that the vaccination drive will require a massive campaign that needs to be handled in the most professional and scientific manner. The government has formed a task force but the work and the challenges are quite high and will require good cooperation and coordination from sundry players. NGOs like Sangh parivar can also plan to join hands with the government and contribute to the noble cause.
Dr Asheesh Shah
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