COVID Vaccination: Government forms two committees to oversee vaccination drive.

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In view of the anticipated early rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the country and in order to coordinate and oversee the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the State, Meghalaya Governor has constituted the State Steering Committee.

Chief Secretary MS Rao will be the Chairperson of the committee which will oversee the COVID 19 vaccination drive in the state while ensuring minimal disruption of other routine health care services including immunization.

The State Steering Committee is asked to work in two phases; the first is the Preparatory phase where various activities are to be conducted to get prepared for the vaccination.

Under the Preparatory phase:

(i) Ensure active engagement of all line departments for various activities related toCOVID-19 vaccine introduction as and when the vaccine is made available.

(ii) Oversight on the creation of a database of Health Care Workers (HCWs) onCOVID-19 Vaccination Beneficiary Management System (CVBMS) who will be prioritized for vaccination in the 1st phase

(iii) Review of state’s preparatory activities in terms of cold chain preparedness, operational planning, communication planning, strategies for anticipated state-specific challenges in terms of geographical terrain, network connectivity, and hard to reach areas.

(iv) Mobilize human/other resources and coordinate planning and other activities with other departments. HR with expertise in medical/health will be utilized for vaccination while other HR will be used for operational support, IEC, resource mobilization, community mobilization, and other essential activities.

(v) Financial planning for COVID-19 vaccine introduction amongst HCWs followed by other priority socio-demographic groups.

(vi) Explore the utilization of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for financing various activities related to COVID-19 vaccine introduction.

(vii) Devising a plan for utilization of Common Service Centre and other public infrastructure as per need.

(viii) Review and ensure that regular meetings of the State Task Force (STF) and District Task Force (DTF) are held.

Second is the Implementation phase (upon the availability of vaccine):

(i) Oversight on overall micro-planning and other operational aspects of COVID-19 vaccine introduction.

(ii) Ensure active involvement of all concerned departments and stakeholders as per their pre-defined roles in the process of COVID-19 vaccine introduction.

(iii) Ensure early tracking of social media and other platforms for possible misinformation and rumors around the COVID-19 vaccine that could impact the community acceptance for the COVID-19 vaccine.

(iv) Devise innovative strategies for improving community engagement Jan Bhagidaari’ for improved coverage of COVID-19 vaccine.

(v) Regular review of coverage of COVID-19 vaccine and guidance to STF for corrective actions.

(vi) Institute reward/recognition mechanism for the achievement of best performing district/block/urban ward etc.

At least once a month meetings should be conducted and if required additional meetings may be held.

The Government also in order to ensure inter-departmental coordination with all line Departments mobilize resources and follow up on related activities in the State, the State Task Force.

This Task Force will be headed by Commissioner & Secretary Health & Family Welfare as the chairperson. This committee will also have to function in two phases.

 Preparatory phase: 

  1. Regularly monitor the progress of the database of beneficiaries on COVID-19. Vaccination Beneficiary Management system (CVBMS).
  2. Provide guidance, including funding and operational guidelines, and fix timelines for districts to plan and implement COVID- 19 vaccine introduction as and when the vaccine is made available.
  3. Involve other relevant departments including ICDS, PRI, and key immunization partners such as UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) lead partners and other organizations at the state level. CSOs, including professional bodies such as IMA, should also be involved.
  4. Review cold chain preparedness across the State for possible Introduction of COVID-19 vaccine and guide strengthening measures for the same in view of increased cold chain space requirement.
  5. Identify vaccinators across government and private sectors so as to minimize disruption of Routine Immunization services while introducing the COVID-19 vaccine.
  6. Planning and mapping of vaccination sessions where HC’Ws will be vaccinated during the 1st phase ofCOVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
  7. Mapping human resources across departments that could be deployed for vaccination sessions for verification of beneficiaries, crowd engagement, and overall coordination at the session site. Communicate with District Magistrates (DM) for conducting meetings of District Task Force.

 

  1. Implementation phase (upon the availability of vaccine):

(i) Track districts for adherence to timelines for the overall implementation of COVID- 19 vaccine introduction as per the guidelines approved by NEGVAC, and communicated from the national level.

(ii)   Deploy senior state-level health officials to each district identified for monitoring and ensuring accountability framework. They should visit these districts and oversee the activities for the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine, including participation in DTFI meetings and assessment of district preparedness.

(iii) Develop a media plan to address rumor-mongering as well as vaccine eagerness. Ensure the adequate number of IEC materials (as per prototypes) are printed and disseminated to districts in time.

(iv) Involve youth organizations like NCC/NYKS/NSS for social mobilization of the identified group of beneficiaries to be prioritized from time to time. On similar lines, ensure the involvement of self-help groups.

(v) Regular review with districts and urban local bodies to review and resolve issues related to micro-planning, vaccines and logistics, human resources availability, training, waste management, AEFI, and IEC/BCC. ·

(vi) Review and need-based approval of additional fund requirement.

  1. The member convenor will convene meetings at least

once every fortnight and invite partner agencies such as WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, and others as members of the Task Force meetings.