Pune: State immunisation officer Dr DN Patil and state National Health Mission commissioner Dr Ramaswami N on Saturday said Maharashtra was unlikely to face any problems in transporting the Covid-19 vaccine.
Dr Ramaswami said, “We have handled vaccinations of around three crore children during the measles rubella campaign in the past with 4,000 cold-chain points at our disposal. We are in the process of getting six additional walk-in coolers and two walk-in freezers at the divisional headquarters for bulk storage. We may add ice-lined refrigerators (ILRs) as per requirement. Also, all cold-chain vans are already with us for transporting the vaccine doses. These vehicles will be enough to handle the upcoming phases. Our cold-chain infrastructure has the capacity to handle/transport up to three crore vaccine doses.”
Dr Patil said that three state-level refrigerated vans were there to transport the vaccine doses, besides nine at regional-level and 34 such vans for 34 districts.
“The vaccine stocks are likely to be received at the Centre’s Government Medical Store Depot in Mumbai, from where they would be sent to Arogya Bhawan in Pune, followed by dispatch to the nine regional vaccine stores in Pune, Kolhapur, Thane, Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad, Latur, Nagpur and Akola via refrigerated vans. From regional centres, the stocks would go to the respective districts and corporations within the regions. From there, the cold-chain van at the disposal of each district would transport the doses to primary health centres (PHCs),” Dr Patil said, adding that the PHCs had enough ILRs to store the vaccine.
Dr Patil said the state had transported three crore vaccine doses during the measles rubella campaign, and the Covid vaccine stocks might be less than that as the stocks would be dispatched in lots. “The general protocol is as and when the initial lot is utilised, more is dispatched to the state,” he said.