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K’taka healthcare warriors first to get Covid vaccine: Minister

Bengaluru, Healthcare warriors, including doctors, nurses and paramedics would be the first to get vaccinated for Covid immunity when introduced, said Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Friday.

“Healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff in state-run and private hospitals will be the first beneficiaries of the vaccine when released by the central government,” said Sudhakar in a statement here.

The central government is preparing to introduce a proven vaccine across the country after its approval by its Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

“We are collecting data of healthcare workers as per guidelines and standard operating procedures of the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry,” said the minister, who is in-charge of containing the pandemic in the state.

Noting that the central government would announce the launch date of the vaccine after its production was commenced, Sudhakar said other priority groups, including senior citizens and people with co-morbidities would be vaccinated in a phased manner after the healthcare warriors.

“The state government will use the cold chain system of routine immunisation under universal immunization programme (UIP) for storing the vaccine when made available to the state by the Centre,” noted Sudhakar.

The cold chain facility for storing the vaccine will be made available in all the 30 districts across the southern state.

The healthcare warriors across the state also include ANMs (auxiliary nurse-midwives), ASHAs (accredited social health activists), Anganwadi workers, medical officers, scientists and research staff and all those working in the healthcare sector.

“The state is undertaking IEC (information, education communication) activities through various fora to reach all the health facilities in government and private for timely data collection,” added Sudhakar.

All professional bodies, including IMA, PHANA and IAP are being involved.

Immunisation partners UNDP, WHO and UNICEF will provide technical support to the state government in the initiative.

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