Healthcare workers to be first recipients of COVID vaccine

J&K has prepared a database of 70,000 healthcare workers who would be among the first recipients of COVID19 vaccine when it is ready for administering in India.

Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said a database of 70,000 healthcare workers – doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians and others, was ready.

The database has been prepared on the directions of the Union Health Ministry to all the states and union territories, he said.

A recent communication by the ministry had urged J&K among others to prepare a registry of HCWs and send it for inclusion in the national database of such service providers.

The letter stated that the purpose of this database was to prepare a list of individuals who would be the first line of recipients of COVID19 vaccine in India.

“Numerous efforts are underway to develop multiple COVID19 vaccines,” reads the communication. 

The directions are part of the “preparatory activities” for introduction of the vaccine whenever it becomes available.

FC H&ME said that efforts for COVID19 vaccine were underway at multiple levels in India and the purpose of administering the vaccine to HCW first was in line with their vulnerability to the viral infection.

He said, till date, hundreds of doctors and other people who work in the hospital settings had been infected with COVID19 and some had even lost lives.

“Their lives will be at risk even if the cases go down in the community because they will continue to deal with infected and sick people,” he said adding that the vaccine would help in safeguarding them when it was ready.

The GoI letter issued over the end of October by Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary to GoI (MoHFW) urged that J&K and other states and union territories ensure that every district fills up the details of HCWs associated with it in the format available on the data portal of the health ministry.

In July, Indian Council of Medical Research roped in 12 institutes in India for clinical trials of COVID19 vaccines and instructed them to expedite the process and help the government in making an indigenous vaccine available soon.

ICMR is developing a vaccine in partnership with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL).

The first batch of the first announced vaccine by Russia, Sputnik V, is expected to arrive in India this week and its clinical trials would start subsequently.

Russian developers have signed an agreement with a private firm in India to distribute the vaccine here.

Dulloo said it was not yet known whether the trials of this vaccine would be carried out in J&K.