For now, the rail route is avoided by the centre for the distribution of the covid vaccine. Cargo planes and roadway transportation of the vaccine rollout is in the plan now as cold boxes are necessary for the storage purpose. A digital platform will also be set up to keep track of the vaccination program. The first 30 million priority groups will be identified using an electoral roll and the vaccine will be given to only the pre-registered beneficiaries.
Hospitals, polling booths, healthcare centres, wedding halls amongst others to be the first vaccination sites
The first two priority groups that comprises of the healthcare professionals and frontline workers such as police personnel, army officers, etc. will be administered the vaccine in govt and private hospitals and large healthcare centres. The next two priority groups that include people above the age of 50 and disabled persons will get their vaccination done at the other points that include wedding halls, polling booths, mobile vans, and community centres. More than a thousand such inoculation centres have been set up across the nation to make the vaccine distribution plan work without any hindrance.
Co-WIN digital app to track the vaccination program
A digital app, Co-WIN (covid vaccine intelligence network) has been created by the government to track the vaccine distribution plan well. It will record all the databases of the people who are vaccinated and if any side effects occur after administering the vaccine, then that will also be recorded in the app. The health ministry confirmed this and said that the app will show all the real-time data on it so that there is transparency in the vaccine distribution plan. With 30 million people getting vaccinated in the first phase, it is essential to have all the updated databases on one platform.
Roadway and cargo to be used for vaccine transportation
For now, the railway route is avoided by the government for storage and transportation of the covid vaccine. As SII is located in Pune so the vaccine distribution will take place from there only. An official of the vaccination authority said, “There is no plan to use refrigerated vans of Indian Railways as of now. For destinations near Pune, vaccines would be delivered by road. On longer routes, cargo flights will carry the pallets”. It is their responsibility to safely deliver the vaccines to the consignee points. “SII has the obligation to deliver it safely at the specific places and hand it over to the state or central officials. Once the handover is done, the responsibility of further distribution lies entirely with the government”, said another official.
The Policy Times suggestion
- The government’s plan to roll out the vaccine program seems good but making it work in the same manner, might be challenging. Thus, there should be more portals where people can register themselves on their own if they fall under the priority groups to make it easier for the centre to identify them.
- The cost of the vaccine must be capped at an affordable price so that all the beneficiaries can afford it. And for the healthcare professionals and frontline workers, it should be made free.