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Punjab’s 1.60 lakh health workers to receive COVID-19 vaccine initially

According to the Principal Secretary (Health) Hussan Lal, the data regarding 1.60 lakh healthcare workers has been uploaded on the CoWin portal

Around 1.60 lakh health workers in Punjab will receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the first phase, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said. Principal Secretary (Health) Hussan Lal said the data regarding 1.60 lakh healthcare workers has already been uploaded on the CoWin portal — an online platform for monitoring the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine.

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Talking to reporters, Sidhu said, “…the vaccine which is coming will first be given to 1.60 lakh healthcare workers in the state.”

Giving details of the vaccination process, Lal said the vaccine will be given to about 70 lakh people in the state in a phased manner.

He said that after health workers, the vaccine will be administered to around three lakh frontline workers, including policemen, paramilitary forces, sanitation workers and disaster management volunteers.

Thereafter, the Principal Secretary (Health) said, people above 50 years and those aged below 50 with co-morbid conditions will be covered under the inoculation drive.

The health minister said the Centre should provide COVID-19 vaccine to Punjab free of cost.

Sidhu further said Punjab is fully prepared for the vaccination drive.

He said the state government has established a storage capacity of one crore vaccines in its cold chain centres.

To a question on the timeframe of the vaccination drive, Principal Secretary (Health) Lal said it will depend upon the availability of vaccines.

He said the state can administer four lakh vaccines in a day.

He further said Punjab has around 4,000 trained vaccinators.

“If we get a large number of doses, then we can also use doctors, pharmacists, dental doctors and nurses as vaccinators,” Lal said, adding the state has enough storage capacity for COVID-19 vaccine.

A state-level vaccine store has been set up in Chandigarh, officials said.

Punjab has already conducted a dry run for vaccination in Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.

The mock drill of the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccine was conducted in Patiala.

Punjab has so far recorded 1.67 lakh coronavirus cases and 5,364 deaths.

PTI

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