Mission Impossible
Mission Impossible
Dr. Kishore Madhwani

Dr. Kishore Madhwani writes on the largest vaccination programme in the world, which kickstarts in India on this Saturday.

Come Saturday, the country embarks on its ambitious mission to vaccinate 30 crore (300 million) population by July 2021.

The Largest Global Vaccination Drive by a democracy will be virtually rolling out on Saturday 16 January, 2O21 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He will officially launch the much-awaited COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network Application of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare - popularly known as the Co-WIN App - a digital platform for real-time monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out and delivery in the country - wherein users will be able to self-register to get vaccinated.

Two Covid-19 vaccines have been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted emergency use. The Pune-based Serum Institute of India’s COVISHEILD and the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN will be given in the first phase of the vaccination drive, which will include frontline workers (first in priority) followed by people above 50 years. No choice will be offered by the government for vaccine selection.

The Pune-based Serum Institute of India has released 1.1 crore (11 million) doses and Bharat Biotech has released 55 lakh (5.5 million) doses, totalling to 1.65 crore (16.5 million) doses. These have reached 13 cities from the factories in TATA motors refrigerated trucks to Mumbai by road and to other destinations by air.

The Indian Air force along with Spice jet, Air India and other domestic carriers, transported the vaccines to airports of 13 cities.

From the destination airports, again by refrigerated trucks with walk-in coolers, amidst security of police protection as well as temperature monitoring of the cold chain, the convoy reached the destination government centres/hospitals for storage in cold rooms

specially constructed and armed with CCTV cameras for safety from theft and adulteration.

On Thursday 14 January, a dry-run (mock administration and monitoring drill) of the vaccination drive will be carried out to ensure safety and a smooth execution process for the final big event slated for Saturday.

Data on frontline healthcare workers, who would get the vaccine on a priority basis, has already been collected from government and private health facilities and has been fed into the Co-WIN App. The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine needs to be provided on priority to government and private sector healthcare workers, which are around one crore.

Beneficiaries/Target Audience: After the frontline Health Officials are covered, for further vaccine roll out in the country, the Co-WIN app digital platform will have to be used by all the citizens, vaccine eager and vaccine hesitant groups, citizens of 50 years and above and citizens of 50 years and above with underlying comorbidities.

Once the app is up and running, citizens can login and register themselves, be informed of vaccine administration date and of the site near their residence.

CO-WIN App will have 5 following modules:

  1. Administration Module

  2. Beneficiary Registration Module

  3. Vaccination Module

  4. Beneficiary Acknowledgment Module

  5. Status Updation and Report Module

  1. On the spot registration for vaccines will not be permitted.

Here’s how the entire vaccination process will be monitored with the Co-WIN App:

  • The administrator module is for the administrators who will be conducting these vaccination sessions.

  • Through these modules, they can create sessions and the respective vaccinators and managers will be notified.

  • The registration module is for people to get registered for vaccination. It will upload bulk data on comorbidity provided by local authorities or by surveyors.

  • The vaccination module will verify beneficiary details and update vaccination status while the beneficiary acknowledgement module will send SMS to beneficiaries and also generate QR-based certificates after one gets vaccinated.

  • The report module will prepare reports of how many vaccine sessions have been conducted, how many people have attended those, how many people have dropped out, etc.

  • The mobile application will also send real-time data of temperature of the cold-storage facilities to the main server.

Following online registration, the beneficiary will receive SMS on their registered mobile number on the due date, place and time of vaccination. On getting the due dose of vaccine, the beneficiary will receive SMS on their registered mobile number, documents needed and cost.

In order to register, citizens will need to upload a photo identity, which can be an Aadhar Card, Driving License, PAN Card and others. Union Health Minister Dr. Harshvardhan has announced that the vaccination will be free for frontline workers. The cost to the general public has not been announced yet (probably free). He has also shared a design of the vaccination centre sites on twitter (link shared above), as shown here:

Mission Possible: Countdown to Vaccine for COVID-19 begins
Vinta Nanda

After all doses of vaccine are administered, a QR code based certificate will also be sent to the registered mobile number of the beneficiary, said the ministry.

On preventive measures and precautions, the ministry has advised that all beneficiaries should rest in the observation room at the vaccination centre for at least half an hour after taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Mission Possible: Countdown to Vaccine for COVID-19 begins
Vinta Nanda

They should Inform the nearest government health authorities, in case they feel any discomfort or uneasiness subsequently. Remember to continue following key COVID appropriate behaviour, until receiving the second dose & subsequently as well. These can be easily remembered by the mnemonic: SMS- V3, Sanitization hands and surfaces, Mask Wearing, Social Distancing of 6 feet, Vigilance (if symptomatic- test early + isolate fast), Ventilation in 4-wheelers (keep all 4 windows 3- 4 inches open) and in public transport, ensure 6 feet distancing with mask wearing and keep windows open, if feasible, Visiting out of home, ensure wearing mask & avoiding the 3 Cs: Closed gatherings - 50 individuals without physical distancing (could be superspreading events), Closed confined indoor spaces with poor/nil ventilation for long durations and Close conversations for more than 5 to 10 minutes (please wear face shields).

Currently 10 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in India.

Mission Possible: Countdown to Vaccine for COVID-19 begins
Vinta Nanda
It is expected that India will be a major vaccine producing and supplier hub for the world. ALL current vaccines used GLOBALLY will be made in India in NEXT 6-12 months. We are not expected to have any vaccine shortage.


Mission Possible: Countdown to Vaccine for COVID-19 begins
Vinta Nanda

In the next 3 to 4 months, 2 more vaccines will be available for roll out and subsequently all 4 vaccines may be available in private hospitals and clinics, subject to government approvals.

Mission Possible: Countdown to Vaccine for COVID-19 begins

This article has been written by Dr. Kishore Madhwani

Dr. Kishore Madhwani is a Senior Occupational Health, Smoking Cessation and Family Medicine Consultant, currently operating from The Centre of Excellence and Research in Occupational Health, Wellness & Family Medicine, Simla House, Napean Sea Road, South Mumbai. Dr. Madhwani holds post-graduate qualifications in Community Medicine, a doctorate in Occupational Medicine in the discipline of “Office Ergonomics” and has trained at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston in Advanced Ergonomics and Human Factors Engineering. Dr Madhwani is Vice President of Society of Environment and Occupational Health (SEOH) and is President of Maharashtra State Chapter of The Association of Family Physicians of India (AFPI)

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal