The Kerala government has announced a coordination mechanism for COVID-19 vaccine introduction, under which it has also decided to administer the vaccine for free to everyone. The state health ministry has issued an order constituting multi-tier committees -- state steering committee, state task force, district task force and block task force -- as part of the coordination mechanism for vaccine introduction.
The decision to provide vaccine for free was conveyed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a press conference on Saturday. However, he did not provide any details.
The state steering committee, which will meet at least once a month, will be responsible for the overall coordination. It'll also carry out financial planning, including discussions for support under corporate social responsibility funds and devising plans for utilising common service centres and other public infrastructure.
The state task force, which will meet at least once every fortnight, will monitor the preparation of the database of beneficiaries. It involves relevant departments and associations like Indian Medical Association at the state level. It'll review cold chain preparedness, identify vaccinators across government and private sectors, and plan and map vaccination sessions.
The involvement of self-help groups and associations like National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme volunteers, etc, for social mobilisation will also be its responsibility.
The district task force, which will be in charge of human resource training, will meet every week. It will also monitor the progress of micro-planning, cold chain and vaccine logistics planning and fix accountability at every level.
The state steering committee will be headed by chief secretary with principal secretary, health, as its convenor. The state task force will have principal secretary, health, as chairperson and National Health Mission state director as member secretary. While the district collector will chair the district task force, the block task force will be headed by the medical officer in charge of the block level community health centre.
The constitution of the committees and their responsibilities are in sync with the broad instructions issued by the central government.