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Decentralising Vaccine Supply Only Way To Beat Shortage: Doctors

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

    Mar 5, 2019
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    As supply issues affect COVID-19 vaccination drive, decentralising vaccine distribution and involving private sector more effectively is the only way in which the State should move forward to ensure vaccine equity, doctors and other experts in the sector have pointed out.


    Vaccine shortage, issues in distribution and allegations of favouritism have been leading to altercations between the local body members and the public at many centres, with healthcare workers and doctors caught in the crossfire.


    The Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association has (KGMOA) pointed out that local bodies and people’s representatives have been putting undue pressure on medical officers at vaccination sites leading to health workers ending up at the receiving end of public ire.

    The KGMOA said that several incidents of doctors being attacked had been reported in many districts and that often, political parties and local body members were leading the violence.

    “We had in June submitted our suggestions to the government on how vaccines can be distributed to people in a more planned, equitable and transparent manner, without creating unnecessary crowding. The government should immediately issue Statewide guidelines for vaccine distribution, ensuring that external elements do not interfere and upset the process,” T.N. Suresh, KGMOA general secretary, said.

    The KGMOA suggested that vaccines be made available in local bodies depending on the population density and infrastructure in each and that 80% of the vaccines be made available through spot registration and the remaining as online.

    ‘Use voters’ list’

    It also suggested that in each local body, the beneficiaries be selected at the ward-level on the basis of voters’ list or house number so that the eligible population is not left out. Local bodies should prepare a micro-plan so that the list of those who have not received the vaccine is available at the ward-level

    Vaccination drive is now taking place mostly in public and major private health facilities in urban areas while small private hospitals have been totally left out of the distribution network.

    Small private hospitals were facing difficulty because they had to place a minimum order of 3,000 to 6,000 doses for vaccine manufacturers to supply them directly.

    But it has now been clarified that smaller orders by private hospitals can be placed through the government’s supply network. About 289 hospitals have together placed orders for over two lakh vaccine doses with the government while bigger hospitals have placed orders for close to 14 lakh doses

    The government has also formed a subcommittee under the Additional DHS (FW) for overseeing and coordinating vaccination in the private health sector.

    However, the State’s efforts to vaccinate its population totally depends on how fast and how frequently vaccine is supplied by the Centre.


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