29k cold chain points, 41k deep freezers: India gets ready for COVID-19 vaccine storage
New Delhi, Dec 15: The Union health ministry on Tuesday said 29,000 cold chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators, 41,000 deep freezers and 300 solar refrigerators will be used for COVID-19 vaccine storage.
Providing the details about cold-chain management at a press conference here, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said guidelines for estimation of electrical and non-electrical cold chain equipment and their strengthening have been issued to states by the Centre.
The guidelines for management of cold chain at last cold chain points and session sites have also been issued, he said.
"A total of 29,000 cold chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators, 41,000 deep freezers and 300 solar refrigerators will be used," Bhushan said.
"All these equipment have already been delivered to the states. Some other equipment are being supplied," he said.
Giving more details about the preparations, the senior official said 36 states and Union territories have concluded meetings of State Steering Committees and State Task Force, while 633 districts have concluded meetings of the District Task Force in this regard.
Twenty-three ministries and departments in the Centre and states have been identified and assigned roles like planning, implementation, social mobilisation, awareness generation, among others, for the vaccine roll-out, he said.
Training modules for medical officers, vaccinator officers, alternative vaccinator officers, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers and ASHA coordinators are also finalized, and physical training as well as training on virtual/online platforms have started, the health secretary said.
National and state Training of Trainers (ToTs) workshops have also been completed, he added.
In reply to a media query, Bhushan said state governments have been allowed to form vaccination session sites even at units where the Army or paramilitary is posted.
Vaccinating 100-200 people in each session per day, monitoring them for 30 minutes after administering the shots for any adverse event and allowing only one beneficiary at a time are among the guidelines issued by the Centre for the COVID-19 inoculation drive.
According to the guidelines issued to states recently, the COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system--a digitalised platform--will be used to track enlisted beneficiaries for the vaccination and anti-coronavirus vaccines on a real-time basis.