Covid-19 Vaccine in Karnataka: State needs a miracle to store, deliver and administer vaccine
59 mobile walk-in
Firstly, with just three mobile walk-in freezers, the State is facing a Herculean task of transportation and distribution of vaccines to the districts, leave alone taluk and booth vaccination centres, the final destination. As per estimates, every district needs at least two mobile walk-in freezers to transport vaccines within a district. The first phase of vaccination drive will cover 4.7 lakh health workers in the government and private hospitals and Karnataka is expecting to get 4.7 lakh vials of vaccine and as many injections.
Once we get clarity on who the vaccine supplier is and the temperature at which it needs to be stored, we will make arrangements accordingly
– A source, requesting anonymity
The State is yet to receive 866 small ILRs, 64 large ILRs and 28 large DFs as per communication sent by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The State health department requires an additional 395 Deep Freezers (DFs) as only 28 DFs are coming from the Centre. In all the districts, nearly 464 DFs are out of use of which 255 are beyond repair and 209 condemned.
Accordingly, the State government is bracing up to ensure safe transportation and distribution of the vaccine from two State Vaccination Stores (SVS) in Bengaluru and Kalaburagi to five
Sources in the health department said that they are preparing infrastructure for storing facilities of 9.4 lakh vials and injections keeping in mind the booster dose to be administered after two or three weeks. “As of now we are not sure whether it would be a single dose of vaccination or double dose with a gap of two or three weeks. We are preparing for both,’’ a source said.
Karnataka has 2,855 cold chain points for storage and distribution of vaccines to 29,451 session sites (vaccination centres) and 10,008 vaccinators as per Universal Immunisation Programme. The State has 10 Walk-in Coolers (WIC) and 4 Walk-in Freezers (WIF). In addition to this, the Centre has said it will supply three WICs and two WIFs for which necessary civil works are going on.
With existing WIC and Ice-Lined Refrigerators (ILRs) available in the state where 2 degree Celsius to 8 degree Celsius temperature is maintained, the state can store 19,98,41,280 doses of vaccine.
Similarly, the State can store 17,69,66,400 doses of vaccine with existing WIF and Deep Freezers (DFs) where minus 15 to minus 25 degree Celsius temperature can be maintained.
The government is also considering using WIC and WIF available with the Animal Husbandry department at their veterinary vaccination stores. But experts are divided on the use of these facilities for storing Covid 19 vaccine.
The government is yet to get a clarity on storage protocol as different vaccines will require different temperature levels. “Once we get a clarity on who the vaccine supplier is and the temperature at which they need to be stored, we will make arrangements accordingly,” a source said.
Meanwhile it is said that each of the States will get only one company vaccine and not a mixed bag of vaccines developed by different companies to maintain uniformity.
What is Planned
The government has already done rational allocation to districts and region-wise consignee details with a number of equipment to be shipped to the identified
Two SVS’s are being shifted to new locations. In Bengaluru, the SVS at
To ensure a better supply chain network and distribution of vaccines, the government is in process of setting up three RVS’s in Bangalore urban, Shivamogga and Ballari. These regional centres will strengthen the existing supply chain network and help effective transport of vaccines to districts to reach their final destination centres. These newly proposed RVS’s will require additional WIC and WIF.
Three WIC are planned at Bangalore SVS, Bengaluru Urban District