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Karnataka gears up for Covid-19 vaccine delivery

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The government has begun identifying vaccine centres across Karnataka even before a vaccine has arrived.With Covid-19 cases surging, the health department has been directed to map primary health centres, anganwadis, and community health centres to carry out mass vaccinations. These will be converted into vaccine centres for a certain number of villages in their vicinity. Mobile units, too, will be used to reach every corner of the state. 

Health department sources said the aim of making these arrangements now is to ensure time is not lost in delivering vaccinations when they are approved. “We will keep everything ready before the vaccine comes,” the sources said.Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar, who is also in charge of Covid management, told TNIE that the Union Health Ministry had already prepared a plan to receive and utilise 400-500 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine once it is ready, covering approximately 25 crore people by July 2021. 

The minister said a digital platform was also being built by the Centre to track Covid-19 vaccine administration and movement, from procurement to storage to distribution to individual beneficiaries, and online modules were also being developed to train those delivering the vaccines. He said the government aims to vaccinate every citizen in the state at the earliest. “We are preparing lists of priority population groups, including frontline Covid workers, who need to receive the vaccine first,” he added.

VACCINES ON TRIAL 
Sudhakar said at least three viable vaccine candidates are in the clinical trial phase in India. AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford’s vaccine being produced in collaboration with Pune-based Serum Institute of India is in the third phase of trials while Zydus Cadila launched phase-2 trials for its vaccine on August 6.  Bharat Biotech began phase-2 trials from September. “Apart from indigenous attempts, the Centre is in talks with Russia,” he said.

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