Digital tracking to e-certificates: Panel readies COVID vaccination blueprint

An SMS will be delivered to the beneficiary days before vaccination, detailing the time and place, schools will be used as booths

covid vaccine
This month Bharat Biotech started the Phase-3 trial of the COVID vaccine, which remains a hope for India which faces a daunting task of vaccine distribution.

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 is preparing the blueprint for the country’s largest immunisation drive, on the lines of elections, to cover 25 crore people by July 2021.

The Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN), an indigenously developed technology, will track vaccine stocks digitally, and the beneficiary, the person who will be vaccinated, according to The Sunday Express.

According to the newspaper, an SMS will be delivered to the beneficiary days before vaccination, detailing the time and place. Also, a QR code certificate will be generated after each dose and health facilities will be involved in the network of schools as booths, on the lines of elections.

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“This electronic platform enables one to schedule vaccination sessions; once a session is scheduled, then the system generates an SMS that is delivered to the beneficiary. It will have details of date, time and venue when he or she will be vaccinated,” sources told the newspaper.

“Once the person is vaccinated, and if there is no adverse event following the vaccination, a QR-based digital certificate will be generated, again automatically by the system,” they added.

Earlier this month, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said the government plans to provide Covid vaccines to around 25 crore by July 2021, and added that the government would receive between 400 and 500 million vaccine doses.

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“We have an established infrastructure for supply, storage and delivery of vaccines to the last mile, under our Universal Immunisation Programme, where we are administering around 600 million doses to children every year,” he said.

“The strength of these experiences in the vaccination landscape, our best practices and the robustness of our health delivery system will be leveraged and augmented using a strong IT backbone to ensure that this humongous national mission of vaccinating the identified priority groups with COVID-19 vaccine is achieved in a timely manner. The Indian government will leverage the integrated IT platform eVIN for managing vaccine distribution,” he explained.

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The government has demarcated four categories of people for vaccination in the initial phase – healthcare professionals including doctors, MBBS students, nurses and ASHA workers, etc.; frontline workers including municipal corporation workers, personnel of the police and armed forces; people aged above 50; and a special group of those below 50 years of age with co-morbidities and requiring specialised care, according to news agency PTI.

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration met for the first time on August 12. The expert group deliberated on conceptualisation and implementation mechanisms for creation of a digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism of the vaccine including tracking of vaccination process with particular focus on last mile delivery.

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