India had not received any COVID-19 vaccine from the G-7 nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) member-countries. It had enough vaccine to cover all eligible beneficiaries, and adequate doses, including the precaution one, have been made available to all the States/UTs, Minister of State in the Health Ministry Dr. Bharati Pawar said in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
She was responding to a question by House member P.R. Natarajan on COVID-19 vaccines received from various countries.
Storage of vaccines
In response to a question on storage of vaccines in rural areas by member Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava, the Minister said the Union government had provided financial and technical assistance to the States and UTs for proper storage of vaccines, including in the rural areas having inadequate power supply.
Under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP), the States and Union Territories were provided with ice lined refrigerators (ILRs), deep freezers, walk-in-coolers, walk-in freezers, solar refrigerators, cold box, vaccine carriers and ice packs for proper storage and distribution of vaccines.
“The ILRs used for storing vaccines are able to maintain the vaccine storage temperature for 24 hours with as little as 8 hours of intermittent power supplies. Refrigerator mechanic/ technicians are provided to States/UTs for maintenance and functioning of these cold chain equipment and they are also provided in-service training for repair & maintenance of these equipment. In addition, the States/UTs are also provided financial support for cold chain maintenance. Also, the government is promoting the use of solar power driven vaccine refrigerator and freezer. It has already provided 546 solar power driven vaccine refrigerator and freezer for the storage of vaccines to 23 States/UTs across the country,’’ she stated.