The Centre has issued an order to the states to formulate specific committees which will aid in coordination and supervision of Covid-19 vaccination drive simultaneously ensuring the minimum intervention in other healthcare services, and also emphasized on initial tracking of social media for evading any rumors which would affect the community acceptance of Covid-19 isolation.
The Covid-19 vaccine will be introduced in phases over the following year with inclusion of multiple groups “sequentially starting from health care workers”, the Health Ministry has directed for the formulating the committees at state and district levels which will assess the preparatory activities regarding cold chain preparedness, operational planning, specific strategies for state-specific challenges pertaining to geographical terrain and hard-to reach areas, etc
In a letter issued to all the states and Union territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, has given the recommendation of establishing a state steering committee (SSC) headed by the chief secretary, a state task force (STF) headed by additional Chief Secretary or principal secretary (health), and a district task force (DTF) led by District Magistrate.
Along with the letter comes an annexure, which constitutes term of references for the committees as per the SSC will assure the active indulgence of all departments associated and formulate creative strategies for enhancing community involvement (Jan Bhaagidaari) for better reach of the vaccine when it comes in the market.
The annexure stated, “Ensure early tracking of social media and other platforms for possible misinformation and rumours around Covid-19 vaccine that could impact the community acceptance for the vaccine.”
The letter directed on October 26 stated, “The Covid-19 vaccine introduction will span over a year with multiple groups being included sequentially starting from HCWs. Therefore, it is important to create strong advisory and coordination mechanism at state and district level to guide the process of Covid-19 vaccine introduction while ensuring minimal disruption of other routine health care services including immunisation.”
STF will conduct activities like providing guidance, regarding funds and operational guidelines, setting up time frame for districts to introduce the Covid-19 vaccine after its available in the market.