Centre gears up for another dry run on Friday
The central government is gearing up to conduct another dry run of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine across the country, except in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, on Friday, ahead of the actual execution of the vaccination roll-out, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.
“The roll out of Covid-19 vaccine is expected to begin in the near future. This milestone entails the need for testing of all planned mechanisms for conducting the vaccination drive in the country,” health ministry said in a statement.
Each district will identify three types of session sites, similar to the previous dry run including a public health facility (district hospitals and medical colleges), private health facilities and rural or urban outreach sites.Health minister Harsh Vardhan will also hold a meeting with states in this regard on Thursday, to guide them on the conduct of dry run, the ministry said in a statement.
The first nation wide dry run was conducted on January 2.
As a simulation of actual execution, another round of dry run will be conducted in all 700 plus districts of all states and Union territories, except UP and Haryana which have planned to conduct theirs on Thursday.
It is better to test the platform before the actual exercise begins to avoid last minute glitches. The idea behind having this drills conducted is to ensure there are no surprises on the D-day,” said a health ministry official, requesting anonymity.
“The entire planning of the vaccination drive including beneficiary registration, microplanning and vaccination at the planned session site, will be tested under the leadership of District Collector/District Magistrate. The dry run will also familiarise the state, district, block and hospital level officers on all aspects of Covid-19 roll out. This activity will help administrators in strengthening the linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms, identification of any residual challenges prior to the actual implementation and to provide confidence to the programme managers at all levels to carry out a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive,” the health ministry statement read.
The health ministry will be constantly monitoring the drill and provide necessary support, ensure timely resolution of the identified challenges before the actual vaccination roll-out.
Union ministry of health and family welfare has been conducting mock drills to test functioning of the digital platform, Co-WIN, which is the backbone of the Covid-19 vaccine delivery management system, before the actual vaccination drive is rolled out sometime next week. The ministry has been conducting these mock drills in collaboration with the state governments and other stake holders.
Two Covid-19 vaccines — Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — have been given emergency use authorisation by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Sunday.
To facilitate the entire vaccination process, Co-WIN has been repurposed for real time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine.
This software will assist the programme managers across all levels in conduct of the vaccination sessions. A dedicated 24x7 call centre has also been established for technical queries of Co-WIN users.
The cold chain infrastructure (like walk-in-freezers, walk-in-coolers, ice-lined refrigerators, deep freezers) along with sufficient supplies of syringes and other logistics have also been ensured for the exercise.
Around 1.7 lakh vaccinators and 3 lakh vaccination team members have been trained on the process to be followed at the vaccination sites which include beneficiary verification, vaccination, cold chain and logistics management, bio-medical waste management, adverse event following immunisation (ARFI) management and reporting on Co-WIN software.
Detailed operational guidelines on all aspects of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, including session planning and management, session site layout and its organization, AEFI management, communication messages, infection prevention and control practices etc., have already been shared with the States.