COVID-19 VACCINATION - KERALA MODEL
News headlines - kerala’s success in curbing vaccine wastage and administering 74.26 lakh doses after receiving 73.39 lakh doses is testimony to the resourcefulness of its nurses.
The projected population of kerala is nearly 3,54,89,000 in 2021 out of which 61,28,646 people got vaccinated that constitute around 17.27% of total population of kerala . Kerala is successful in giving 76,95,855 vaccinations in just 3 months and 25 days. However Kerala is unable to start the vaccination for all above 18 years of age due to vaccine shortage .
At the early stages of vaccine drive Kerala had a buffer stock of 8 lakh doses but now the state is running out of stock and is still able to vaccinate more doses than administered to the state . Kerala recorded negative vaccine wastage and evidently able to get applauded by ministries and the Prime Minister.
How has Kerala been a model for vaccination?
- To understand the vaccine procedure followed by Kerala
- To locate the reasons for negative vaccine wastage
- Recommendations for similar models in other states
Up to 6.5% of COVID-19 vaccines have been wasted in India until March 17, according to health ministry data. Over 4.4 million doses–more than the population of Tripura–were wasted until April 11, as per a recent NDTV report based on Right to Information (RTI) queries. By April 11, states and Union territories had used 100 million doses, the report said, leading to a wastage rate of 4.4%
Kerala has 549 covid vaccination centres as of now distributed according to districts. The reasons why kerala was successful for vaccinating more than allocated are-
TRAINED HEALTH WORKERS
“The instruction to the field staff is that the vaccine is a scarce product and we need to ensure that everyone receives it,” - A statement given by the district programme manager of pathanamthitta district depicts the serious attitude of kerala about the vaccination process. according to the protocols of mohfw the vaccine vial of 5ml is properly utilized when the jab is given to 10 people per vial. in this view it is a much of task for nurses to precisely use 0.5ml dose for each person and therefore the vial is used for 8-9 doses instead of 10 leading to wastage. Kerala nursing staff has nearly made the impossible task efficiently possible due to proper training and management .
The Kerala government emphasised on relevant training of frontline health workers for the appropriate usage of vaccine along with targeting minimum wastage . kerala being a nursing hub , as always showed up the potential of their nurses that contributed to negative vaccine wastage . This was possible due to efficient management by health workers who ensured that protocols for vaccines are effectively implemented .
BETTER MOBILISATION OF BENEFICIARIES
ashas are voluntary workers in kerala who are paid incentives based on performance. ashas l act as a link between the community and health care services and ensure that the primary health care services are accessed by the rural poor, also they look into fields like prevention & control of communicable diseases, identification & control of ncds, palliative care and community based mental health programmes.
The effective vaccination is also the consequence of mobilisation of 10 people for all 10 jab for each vial of vaccine. This was possible due to the large contribution of asha workers who were responsible and diligent enough to personally take up important tasks of bringing people to vaccine centres by making them aware of the benefits of vaccines and persuading them to get the jab on time. as the rule is to use the opened vial on the same clinical day or discard it , the role of workers to mobilise the beneficiaries according to the time and number of vials is considered important in light of reducing wastage and ensuring proper planning according to field knowledge of these workers.
The important factor of vaccination is proper management of stock , transportation , and adequate supply to centres based on area needs and stock supplies. Kerala has managed to improve its cold chain systems for storage that reduces wastage because of storage temperatures. Kerala implemented strict protocols for storage, transportation and usage of vaccine adhering to the rules and advice by MoHFW. All the people from private and public ,both sectors who are involved in the vaccination process were to undergo proper training .
The above factors ensure proper management of vaccines and hence lead to zero wastage of jabs in kerala in comparison to other states like telangana that had reported the highest vaccine wastage rate of 17.6%.
the lessons from kerala model can be used in states having high wastage during vaccination amid vaccine shortage in the nations are -
- Training of health workers and emphasizing of minimum wastage of jabs per vial
- Boosting storage and transportation infrastructure and using the prior infra efficiently to its maximum capacity
- Most important is the planning of stock and supply chain according to the level of on field pace of vaccination drive at each centre in the state
- Robust mobilisation of beneficiaries and spreading awareness against the vaccination taboos