Q: Has the process of COVID-19 vaccination started in your area?
Medical Officer In-Charge (MOIC): Yes, the process of COVID-19 vaccination started on 23 January 2021. Vaccination centres have been established at the district hospitals, and at Primary Health Centres (PHCs) of every Block. Right now, the vaccine is being given to health workers like doctors, nurses, etc. and to government staff like Block Development Officers (BDOs).
The vaccine is being administered by experienced doctors or Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs). Before administering the vaccine, medical check ups are being done. After the vaccination, people are being asked to wait for 30 minutes to monitor for any side effects in them.
Vaccines are not being given to pregnant women, and children right now.
Q: How is vaccine storage and supply chain being managed?
MOIC: Vaccines are stored in ice-lined refrigerators (ILRs). The vaccine comes to the PHC from the district hospital. One week before the vaccine stock is about to get over, we raise a demand to the District Immunisation Officer, and the vaccines are sent to the PHC. We have not experienced any difficulty in maintaining the supply. We receive the vaccines as soon as the demand is raised.
Q: Have you been informed about any side effects of the vaccine? How is it being reported and managed?
MOIC: There are no side effects of the vaccine. Some people might experience a little pain or mild fever but this happens generally after taking any kind of vaccine.
However, out of all the people we have vaccinated till now, we have not been informed about any severe or sensitive case. All of this information is reported to the District Immunisation Officer.
This interview was conducted with a Medical Officer In-Charge in Bihar in Hindi on 25 February 2021, and has been translated.