The Union Health Ministry has asked all states to submit a list of the people who shall be accorded priority while administering the COVID-19 vaccine (when it is ready) by October end. This was stated by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan during a recent media interaction. Vardhan stressed that priority would be given to health workers engaged in COVID-19 management in terms of vaccination.
Working in advance, the Meghalaya Government has prepared lists of all front-line workers and health workers beside other residents who will receive the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
The Meghalaya Government has prepared lists of all front-line workers and health workers beside other residents who will receive the first doses of the coronavirus vaccineHowever, the state is yet to receive any formal communication from the Centre to submit these lists. Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Prestone Tynsong stated, "We have not received anything from the Centre but nevertheless we are prepared to submit the list immediately if they ask for it." Tynsong said that the lists include people from the Anganwadis, Asha health workers and frontline workers, among others.
The Union Health Minister has also stated in the course of the media interaction that a high-level expert group is delving into all the aspects of vaccines and the health ministry is preparing a format in which states shall submit their lists citing the prime beneficiaries. The Union Minister also said that the prioritization of groups to be vaccinated shall be based on two key considerations, first is undoubtedly occupational hazard and risk of exposure to the infection and second is physical vulnerability in terms of developing severe diseases.
It is heartening that as the world prepares for a vaccine against COVID-19, the country has started identifying crore priority beneficiaries.