Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

New Delhi: With India getting ready for Covid-19 vaccine and focusing on its early availability, experts on Saturday stressed that the country must remain well-equipped with secured stock of syringes in advance. The Union government should immediately scale up syringe supplies to deal with the vast number of inoculations required to control the pandemic, said experts.

According to Rajiv Nath, Managing Director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd, the estimated demand in India would be around 900 million pieces of different kinds of syringes for just one shot of the vaccine, considering 60-70 per cent of the country gets vaccinated.

"The number would amplify to 1.8 billion if the vaccine India chooses needs two shots," Nath told IANS.

The experts have also focused on the role of auto-disabled syringes in the Covid-19 vaccine immunisation programme

"The focus has shifted to single-use disposable consumables from reuse consumables and especially a change has been seen in higher deployment of auto-disabled syringes even for curative injections," Nath said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF also recommended that auto-disabled syringes be used for administering vaccines -- particularly in mass immunisation programmes.

Moreover, the WHO has suggested the use of auto-disabled syringes to collect blood samples of Covid-19 patients, which in turn, helps to avoid the transmission of disease through healthcare equipment.

Speaking on the function of auto-disabled syringes and their role in the Covid-19 vaccine immunisation programme, Pavan Mocherla, Managing Director of Beckton Dickinson (BD) - India and South Asia, an American multinational medical technology company, told IANS: "Auto-disabled syringes are the ones that get disabled after a single use."

Explaining the importance of implementing safe injection practices during the Covid-19 vaccine immunisation programme, Mocherla said that unsafe injection practices could lead to blood-borne infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C. Thus, adherence to correct injection technique plays a vital role while managing the immunisation drive.

"It is critically important to make sure that the healthcare workers are supplied with the right injection devices that will ultimately be needed to deliver a vaccine to help support India's 1.3 billion population," he added.

According to the expert, it is also crucial that our nurses are introduced to guidelines like the implementation of latest technologies like auto-disable syringes and precautions to ensure safety for themselves as well as others.

"To protect the population from contracting HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C while getting preventive vaccines, the Indian government has been adopting the use of single use auto-disabled syringes in its vaccination programmes from August 2005," Mocherla noted.

(With IANS Inputs)