The expert group on coronavirus vaccine is formulating strategies to plan out how to roll out the distribution of the vaccine in the country. The first tranche of 3 crore people has been identified to be vaccinated. This would include about 70-80 lakh doctors (which can go up to 1 crore) and around 2 crore healthcare workers, sources in the health ministry said. The government plans to use the innovation eVIN (Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) network to store and track the vaccine and the digital health ID to ensure immunization while relying on the same route as the current practice of vaccines distribution under the Universal Immunisation Program (UIP).
The Covid-19 vaccine will be first made available to those who need it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had earlier mentioned. The expert group has identified 3 crore people with maximum exposure and high-risk jobs. These are 1 crore doctors and 2 crore health care workers, including central and state police forces, home guards, armed forces, municipal workers, and Asha workers and community workers – like cleaners, teachers, and drivers. The listing of healthcare workers to be vaccinated will be completed by the end of October or early November, Dr. Paul said. People over 50 years of age and those less than 50 years of age but with co-morbidities will be vaccinated after the first tranche.
The health ministry has said that the eVIN network, which can track the latest vaccine stock position, the temperature at the storage facility, geo-tag health centers, and maintain a facility-level dashboard is being repurposed for the delivery of Covid vaccine. The eVIN is an indigenously developed technology system in India that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application. The innovative eVIN is presently being implemented called across twelve states in India. TheVIN aims to support the Government of India’s Universal Immunisation Programme by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in these states.