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A total of 87,588 health care workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccine drive in Uttarakhand starting from January 16, the state health department’s top official said Monday.

“All our preparations for the vaccination process have been completed. We have identified 4,943 health units, both government and private, where vaccine will be administered in 9,708 vaccination sessions to 87,588 health care workers. To ensure that Covid-19 appropriate behaviour of social and physical distancing is followed, specific time slots will be allotted to each candidate when they would have to come for the vaccination process,” said Dr. Amita Upreti, director general of the Uttarakhand health department.

The health department has already conducted two dry runs to prepare for the actual vaccination drive. A third dry run will be conducted on Tuesday at 309 sites with 7,725 health care workers participating in it.

For the actual vaccination process, the health department will be deploying 402 supervisors to monitor the process and 120 additional supervisors will be working as vaccinators also. Along with this, 2,118 auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) workers will be working as vaccinators and a total of 6,509 vaccinators have been identified.

The Uttarakhand government has developed 317 cold chain points, where the vaccine will be stored in the temperatures (two to eight degrees) as guided by the Centre. Further, 483 ice lined refrigerators, 547 deep freezers and three walk-in freezers have been arranged.

The area where the vaccine will be administered was divided into three parts; waiting area, vaccination room, observation room.

“The Central government will be transporting the vaccines to us by air, from where we will be transporting them to cold chain points in different vehicles where freezers are already installed. Drivers of the vehicles have also been trained on how to transport the vaccine to ensure that its quality is maintained. The last point which is the vaccination centre, one vaccinator along with four vaccination officers will be deployed and 100 people will be administered the vaccine in one session,” added Dr. Upreti.

The state government has already formed a three-tier task force at state, district and block level to prepare for the vaccination drive.