From making bed arrangements to training staff, contingency measures have been taken by hospitals in Delhi to address the situation if any adverse effects are found in a person after administering a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, authorities at various facilities said on Friday.
The vaccination roll-out is set to begin from Saturday across the country, and 81 sites in Delhi have been chosen for the exercise.
These centres, with nearly an even split of government and private hospitals, include six central government facilities – AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, RML Hospital, Kalawati Saran Children Hospital and two ESI hospitals.
The rest 75 centres, spanning all 11 districts of Delhi, include Delhi government-run facilities, such as LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, DDU Hospital, BSA Hospital, Delhi State Cancer Institute, ILBS Hospital; and private facilities, such as Max Hospital, Fortis Hospital, Apollo Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
Each centre or site, will consist of a waiting room, vaccination room and an observation room. Every person will be observed for at least 30 minutes after the immunisation. "There is a separate area for post-vaccination observation with 10 beds and 20 chairs with emergency equipment. Staff have been trained on handling AdverseEvents Following Immunisation (AEFI). Also, the nodal officer AEFI with identified staff, has already been trained," said Dr D S Rana, Chairman (Board of Management), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
Anaphylaxis kit and AEFI management kits ready and are also in place, he said. AEFI in general include, headache, inflammation, fever, pain in arm or body pain or vomiting, which can happen after regular vaccination too, doctors said, adding, observation of patients post-vaccination is a regular practice.
Sahar Qureshi, Medical Superintendent, Max Super Speciality Hospital, said, "We are prepared for the vaccination, all the sites are ready as per the government guidelines". "We have all the places ready, whether it is pre-vaccination waiting area, vaccination observation area, vaccination room and our AEFI rooms," he said.
A dedicated team will be there to take care of AEFI, and the emergency team will be heading the unit, where if any patient exhibits any kind of adverse reaction, they will be attended to immediately, from the "mildest of infection to most sever one", which will be addressed immediately, he said. AEFI staffs were trained by the government officials, and they were called and were told about what is expected from them, Max hospital authorities said.
"They were given formal training, and even for the inoculation, nursing staff will be there to check, what is required from them," the doctor said. At Akash Hospital too, observation beds and chairs, 10 reclining beds and 10 chairs, have been put up, especially for such contingencies, authorities said.
At Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) an 'adverse effects committee' consist of 15 doctors who will look after such cases, and they are full equiped to handle them, said H S Chhabra, Medical Director, ISIC. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said the Delhi government is fully prepared for the vaccination roll-out starting January 16, with over 8,000 healthcare workers to be immunised every scheduled day in the national capital, in the first phase of the exercise.
India's drugs regulator has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. A senior official on Thursday had said Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield will be administered at 75 centres while Bharat Biotech-made Covaxin doses will be given at the remaining six facilities in Delhi.