Covid-19 vaccine: All states, UTs to conduct dry run on January 2
After conducting a dry run of vaccination in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat on December 28 and 29, the centre has now planned to extend the drill to rest of the country so that once a vaccine shot is approved for emergency use, administering vaccine goes on without a glitch anywhere. All state capitals will conduct dry runs in at least three session sites on January 2. Some states will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain or have poor logistical support.
In vaccine dry run, the entire process of transporting the vaccines from storage to the site, administering them to candidates, feeding data on Co-WIN app is practised without any real vaccine. For example, in Gujarat dry run, 475 beneficiaries underwent the dummy procedure, the main aim of which is to identify if there is any loophole in the planned process. Crowd management at a booth, maintaining social distancing guidelines inside the booth are also being practised at the mock drills.
In Gujarat, the dry run was conducted at 19 booths set up in Gandhinagar and Rajkot districts. In Punjab, Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar were selected for the dry run. Nalbari and Sonitpur were the two districts of Assam where the mock drill already took place. Krishna district from Andhra Pradesh was chosen for the two-day drill. Everywhere, the drill went on successfully.
The plan to extend the dry run to all states and UTs comes amid the apex drug regulator body of India indicating that India might start the new year with a vaccine against Covid-19.
“We will have a Happy New Year with something in hand, that’s all I can hint at,” said VG Somani, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), on Thursday.
The subject expert committee (SEC) under the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) will meet on January 1 to consider the emergency-use authorisation application of three companies—Pfizer, Serum Institute of India that is to manufacture the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.