The All India Organisation of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD) has asked its members to ensure that their refrigerators are in full working condition with power backup and adheres with cold chain requirements for the storage of COVID-19 vaccine.
The association is also planning to make a representation to the Health Ministry and PMO communicating about its plan of providing technical assistance to its members to build the manpower capabilities for accelerating the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country.
Rajiv Singhal, General Secretary, AIOCD commented, “We are making all efforts to convince the government to utilise our trade channel for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines which is likely to be available in India in the near future. A population of 130 crores of the country would be waiting for vaccine cover. Considering the supply chain issues which have been anticipated by the experts of the industry as well as the government bodies, we have asked our members to ensure that their refrigerator is in full working condition with power backup. And we have also requested to all pharmacists/chemists of the country to give voluntary services for the administration of COVID-19 vaccine in their area and also check the required cold chain system at their end.”
“Besides this, we intend to organise a seminar at the local level with the help of chief medical officers/district health officers to educate our pharmacist members to upgrade their skills required for COVID-19 vaccine storage. We are also planning to identify qualified pharmacists who can extend their services by enhancing their knowledge through seminars for administering COVID-19 vaccines,” he added.
The letter states, “We, as pharmacists and chemists, have the duty to cooperate with the local and state governments to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the public. Some important aspects needed to ensure that requires vaccine storage at +2 degree C to +8 degree C temperature range throughout production, storage and delivery stages. It is important to note that COVID vaccines may also require temperature less than -20 degree C. We are being Jan Swasthya Rakshak chemists of the country, serving the nation by providing medicines to every nook and corner of the country,” stated in the letter.