Apr 27, 2021
On behalf of President RCM Kapil Chitale, Director -Special Projects, Rtn S Balakrishna, Chairman PP Rtn Gauthamadas Udupi & team.
The safe delivery of vaccines for mass immunisation against Covid-19 is a massive challenge and Tamil Nadu needs to significantly ramp up its cold chain facilities. The task of securing "end-to-end connectivity" i.e. from the time the vaccine is received from the manufacturer at the Central Vaccine Store, Chennai, till the time it is received at the point of administration in cities, towns, and villages, and ensuring that nothing goes wrong before the shot is administered is of the most urgent priority.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said earlier this week that the government expects to receive and utilise 400-500 million vaccine doses for Covid-19, and cover approximately 20-25 crore people by July 2021. The Centre has also directed states to make a robust plan for vaccine storage and distribution by October 15. "Most if not all the current frontrunners require extremely stringent cold chains, making them immensely challenging for India to implement," said Satyajit Rath from New Delhi's National Institute of Immunology (NII).
Unlike drugs, virtually all vaccines need to be transported at cold temperatures, usually between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. The necessity to keep the vaccine product cold within a given temperature range is a constraint especially with large numbers of doses. The vaccines lose potency when exposed to temperature higher than 8 degrees or lower than 2 degrees. Therefore the current challenge for the state is to maintain Covid-19 vaccines strictly between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, while in transport and storage until delivery.
Cold chain logistics involves many moving parts, including cold storage facilities that store products waiting to be transported, and cooling systems to keep it at an appropriate temperature during all aspects of the supply chain such as storing and transporting. While the Taminadu Govt has an established cold chain it is limited in capacity and the equipment is not geared to move the large quantities of vaccines that are required during the current pandemic.
Rotary Club of Madras has risen to the challenge of maintaining the cold chain chain of CoVid vaccination in Tamilnadu. It is donating:
* Two 14 ft refrigerated trucks with a total capacity of transporting 4500 litres of vaccine i.e. 44 lakh doses from the central vaccine store to the Zonal vaccine stores.
* Two 8 ft refrigerated trucks with a total capacity of transporting 2000 litres i.e. 20 lakh doses of vaccine from the Zonal stores to the District stores.
* 15 Ice Lined refrigerators that can store 10 lakh doses of vaccines in the district stores
* One thousand vaccine carriers that can be used to vaccinate upto 30 lakh people each time
Thus Rotary Club of Madras will "Carry the Vaccines for the people of Tamilnadu".
The equipment will be received by the Principal Secretary - Health and Family Welfare - Dr. T. Radhakrishnan IAS and handed over to the Director of Public Health and Hygiene Dr. Selvavinayagam between 2 PM and 2.30 PM on Tuesday 27th April 2021, at the Tamilnadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital, Omandurar Estate, Chennai.