As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasised on an IT-backed system to ensure vaccine delivery to the last mile — like the election process in the country — the expert group is planning to include digital features like SMS, digital certificate in the vaccine delivery process, reports said.
The Centre had set up a National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration, led by Niti Aayog member VK Paul. The committee is laying out a detailed plan of vaccine storage and delivery as Indian awaits its first vaccine by the beginning of 2021.
The Centre has already asked state governments to send list of priority groups who should get the vaccines first. The information of the beneficiaries will be added to the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) — a digital platform under National Health Mission, which is already being used at different immunization programmes at 32 states/UTs. It provides real-time information on vaccine stocks, flows, cold storages etc. But at present, it doesn’t track the beneficiaries.
Like elections, the vaccination drive will be conducted in phases and schools will be used as booths, reports said. In the first phase, India is looking at vaccinating about 30 million people, including healthcare specialists, who are on the frontline of the fight. The 30 million will include 7 million doctors and paramedics, in addition to 20 million other frontline health workers. The expert panel is also mulling to use SMS facility to send a message to the beneficiary informing them about the time, date, venue of their vaccine dosage.
After an individual receives the vaccine shot and reports no adverse impact, a QR-based digital certificate will be awarded which can be stored in Digilocker.
“We have our own digital platform that has all updated information — from vaccine procurement to storage, cold chain and transportation in refrigerated vehicles.This facility already exists in India, and what the government is contemplating is how to augment this facility to be able to deliver Covid-19 vaccine,” Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has earlier said.