Covid-19 vaccination for front-line workers, including police personnel and the workers of Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), is likely to start from February 4 in the district, according to health department officials. It will be held simultaneously with the ongoing inoculation of healthcare workers. Officials said that for front-line workers, vaccination sessions will be set up at their offices or nearby sites for easy access.
Front-line workers have been prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination as they are involved in providing essential services or are engaged in public health, sanitation and waste management services. The details of nearly 16,000 of such front-line workers have been uploaded on the Co-WIN platform by Saturday and their number is likely to increase.
It comprises nearly 9,000 police staff, over 6,500 municipal workers and at least 450 employees of the revenue department from different blocks, according to official data. Among the municipal workers, there are sanitation staff members, waste collectors, operators, engineers of waste processing plants, vehicle drivers, water tanker operators and cremation ground staffers.
“Covid-19 vaccination for front-line workers can start from February 4 in the state,” said Rajeev Arora, additional chief secretary, health department. “The Central government on Friday also included employees of Panchayati Raj institutions in the front-line category. It includes gram sachivs and patwaris, among others, who have been directly involved in providing Covid-19 services. Their data collection has already started in the state.”
On Friday, the Union ministry of health and family welfare wrote to all states, asking them to initiate simultaneous vaccination of front-line workers and healthcare workers from the first week of February.
“The inoculation for these front-line workers will start either from February 4 (Thursday) or February 6 (Saturday),” said Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer.
As reported earlier, from Sunday till February 3, the health department has put Covid-19 vaccination on halt for holding the pulse polio drive. However, in the last 15 days, almost 60% (22,372) of the registered 37,000 healthcare workers have been covered through vaccination drives.
On Saturday, Covid-19 vaccination took place at 28 sites with a target of inoculating at least 650 healthcare workers. Of these only 581 took the Covid-19 jab. The target included inoculation of 600 workers with Covishield, out of which at least 551 turned up for the vaccination, while for Covaxin, only 30 people took the jab out of the 50.
In case of health workers, a majority of vaccination sessions have been conducted at private hospitals considering their high numbers. For front-line workers, the strategy is likely to be revised with more dependency on public sites.
“For front-line workers, vaccination drive in government facilities will be conducted on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, as during the other days of the week, healthcare workers are involved in routine immunisation programme,” said Yadav, adding that vaccination sites can be set up within the premises of the government offices where the employees are currently working.
“To achieve higher footfall, session sites have to be planned within the office premises or near to it. Even community centres, panchayat bhawans at the block level and urban primary health centres will be used as session sites. The strategy has to be finalised” said Yadav. Arora also said that just like polling booths vaccination sites can be set up at multiple locations to facilitate vaccination.