45,000 fridges, 41,000 freezers: Centre lists its preparedness for enormous immunisation drive in opposition to COVID-19


New Delhi, December 15

The central government said on Tuesday that it had already dispatched cold chain points, freezers and refrigerators for storing COVID-19 vaccines—a development that comes as the country prepares for undertake its largest immunisation drive yet.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said state governments have been sent 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.

He admitted that adverse effects to the vaccine could be one of the possible challenges to the rollout, and said state governments must prepare for them.

“Adverse events following immunisation are critical issues. When we undertake a universal immunisation programme, which has been done for decades, some adverse effects are seen in children and pregnant women after vaccination,” Bhushan said.

“So, we can’t deny chances of an adverse event when COVID-19 vaccination begins. The countries where immunisation has already begun, especially in the UK, adverse events took place on the very first day. So, it is essential that states and UTs prepare for this too.”

He remained optimistic about India’s infection numbers, claiming that India had among the lowest cases per million in the world.

“The number of cases in India is 7,178 per million population, the global average is 9,000,” Bhushan said.

 —Agencies



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