Vaccine Vial Monitors to allay apprehensions of public regarding the dosage’s potency

A total of 3.39 lakh children in the age group of zero to five years have been targeted in Coimbatore district during the first phase of 18 annual Pulse Polio Programme on Sunday (January 20). To allay public apprehensions on efficacy of the vaccine, Deputy Director of Health Services R. Damodharan informed that all vials contain ‘Vaccine Vial Monitors,’ a thermo-sensitive paper containing a white square inside a blue circle that would reflect the temperature of the vaccine which was susceptible to heat variations.

As long as the square remained white or the same colour as the circle, he said that the dosage would remain potent. However, if the colour of square were to turn darker than the circle, the vaccine would have lost its potency.

“Anyone can ask the booth personnel to show the vial before administering the dosage. Arrangements have been made right from the regional centre level to the primary health centre and booth level to store the vaccine in optimal temperature range between minus 20 degrees to five degrees Celsius.”

Another initiative was the creation of a dedicated telephone line – (0422) 222 0351 – to receive complaints from the public during the vaccination campaign. A District Monitoring Team comprising a general physician and a paediatrician would investigate any disturbances during the vaccination. Special focus was given to slums, suburbs, hill and remote areas.

A total of 1,564 static booths, each with the stock to handle around 200 children, would be set up on Sunday to administer the doses.

Beyond these, 26 transit booths would be established at the railway stations and bus stands to cater to the travelling population. In addition, 23 mobile teams would be doing rounds of the city and rural areas. The booths would be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

While the drops were usually given only for a day, this year the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) and the District Headquarters Hospital at Pollachi have been requested to administer them during the two subsequent days as well.

However, the booths would administer dosage only on Sunday. The remaining two days, Dr. Damodharan said, would be used to cover left-out children through a door-to-door follow up campaign. The ultimate objective was to bring out the percentage of children missed out to less than one. Last year, around three lakh children were targeted.

Collector M. Karunagaran had also instructed the vehicles of all government departments to be used for this polio campaign on Sunday.

Coimbatore was also the regional immunisation centre for the surrounding districts of the Nilgiris, Erode, Tirupur and Namakkal, the Deputy Director said, adding that stocks have been dispatched to all the districts.