Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 2
With the Covid vaccine in the final stages of operationalisation in India, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder on Wednesday announced that he would take the first shot of the vaccine in Punjab, once it is cleared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The Chief Minister made the announcement at the virtual Cabinet meeting, during a presentation to discuss the Covid situation in Punjab and the state’s preparedness to roll out the vaccine.
In line with the Government of India strategy for vaccination, Punjab has prioritised healthcare workers, frontline workers, the elderly population (over 50 years of age), and people with co-morbidities (< or = 50 years), the meeting was informed.
According to Punjab Health Secretary Hussan Lal, the state has compiled data of 1.25 lakh government and private healthcare workers to be vaccinated in the first phase.
Approximately 23 per cent (70 lakh) of the state’s population – estimated at around 3 crore – will be vaccinated in terms of the Centre’s guidelines on vaccine prioritisation, Lal added.
To ensure seamless roll-out of the vaccination, the state steering committee is coordinating closely with the national steering committee, while the state task force will work in tandem with the district and block-level task force committees for the same, the meeting was informed.
Organisations like the WHO, UNDP and others are working as developmental partners in the process.
Following a review of the available facilities, Punjab has requested the Centre for certain additional cold chain equipment, including vaccine vans, deep freezers, ice-lined refrigerators, cold boxes, vaccine carriers, ice packs, thermometers and stabilisers.