Govt To Map Out Cold Chain Storage Facilities To Ensure Quick Delivery Of Covid Vaccine For Mega Immunisation Drive: ReportCovid-19 vaccine - representative image (Twitter)

With the possible rollout of one or more Covid-19 vaccine candidates in the coming months, the government has started the preparation for mapping out cold chain storage facilities to ensure quick delivery of the vaccine across the country, reports Times of India.

The exercise to map out such facilities is being conducted at a massive scale, with a national expert group reportedly talking to public and private sector firms from pharma, food-processing and agro-business sectors to identify cold storages or fridges at the taluka level that can stock and distribute the vaccine.

A draft scheme for the distribution of the vaccine is likely to be released around the middle of next week, sources with direct knowledge of the matter were quoted as saying.

It should be noted that at least three foreign and one domestic vaccines are likely to be available in the country in the coming months. These vaccine candidates will require a cold supply chain, with temperature requirement well below zero degree celsius for some. However, most vaccines need to be kept at 2 and 8 degree celsius.

The cold chain space needed for vaccines has been estimated keeping in view that 18 per cent of the country's population would need to be inoculated within six months.

It should be noted that the government is planning to administer the vaccine to over 20-25 crore people in the country by July next year.

A cold chain augmentation plan to address the additional cold chain space required for the vaccine has already been initiated by the Health Ministry.

Some of the vaccine candidates might require cold chain temperature range of minus 60 to minus 80 degree celsius unlike traditional cold chain temperature required for other candidates. For this, the support of the private sector that maintains such facilities can be sought.

Besides, refrigerated vans to transport the vaccines will also support the mega immunisation drive, the sources said.

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