PANAJI: Chief Secretary Parimal Rai on Wednesday chaired the first meeting of the State-Level Steering Committee set up for streamlining COVID vaccination programme in advance.

The meeting was attended by other Secretaries/official members/Govt Health Experts and members of civil society including Presidents of Global Rotary International and Lions Club, SMO (World Health Organisation) and Chairperson (GSPCB).

Secretary (Health) Amit Satija made a power-point presentation and briefed on the various major tasks that the State is expected to undertake, to be ready to carry out the vaccination in Goa. He also shared that a special national level digital platform (Co-WIN) is being created to capture the data.

Collectors were tasked to coordinate data collection and they have collected the data of public health facilities and the health workers, and they are on the job to collect data on private medical facilities and their health workers, for being uploaded on the portal.

Simultaneously, data collection and entry is ongoing within respect to other requirements such as cold chain maintenance and storage facilities, transport of vaccine, syringes availability, adequate and suitable vaccine administration personnel, location for vaccination while respecting the cold chain, etc.

The Secretary (Health) further explained that as per guidelines of government of India, first priority would be given to Healthcare workers (Government and private sector) and frontline workers, eg State and Central Police, Armed Forces, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Disaster Management volunteers, municipal staff etc. Both the Collectors are preparing this list of health workers in coordination with IMA, IAP, associations of private hospitals, Nursing homes Clinics and others.

The members were requested to use their good offices to get this data as complete as possible so that those who require to be administered the vaccine are not left out.

The Secretary (Health) requested members of the civil society and others present in the meeting to inform the private medical practitioners to come forward and get themselves registered as soon as possible, and not later than 6th December 2020 though data received thereafter will also be accommodate but the department may be unable to project the exact requirements for this target group to Government of India. Thereafter, these healthcare workers from government as well as private sector could also be tasked with the work of vaccinators.

The existing cold chain management will need to be strengthened with the help of Government of India and locally available resources to ensure safe delivery of vaccines to the remotest areas for administering to the targeted population well in time.

To drive these efforts, taluka- level committees will be formed  by Collectors/Government to cover the entire population.

After the presentation, members discussed the various issues and they shared their opinions to make the vaccination program a success. They were requested to suggest any changes or improvements which could be carried out for the success of this campaign. 

The next meeting of the Steering Committee will be planned soon to review the preparatory actions of the State/District/Taluka-Level Monitoring Committees.