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Coronavirus | Dry run for COVID-19 vaccine rollout in 4 States next week: Govt.

Members of ground staff in New Delhi on December 22, 2020 walk past a container at the Cargo Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, which will be used as a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines handling and distribution centre.   | Photo Credit: AFP

The Centre is gearing up for the roll out of COVID-19 vaccine across the country, with four States all set to initiate a dry-run for vaccine administration next week, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

“Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, and Punjab have been selected considering the geographical locations. Each State will plan it in two districts and preferably in different (five) session type settings e.g. district hospital, CHC/PHC, urban site, private health facility, rural outreach etc,” a Ministry release said.

 

Testing linkages

The Ministry added that this exercise will enable end-to-end mobilisation and testing of COVID-19 vaccination process (except the vaccine) and check the usage of Co-WIN in field environment, the linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms and identify challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation including improvements that may be required in the envisaged process.

It noted that this will also provide a hands-on experience to programme managers at various levels.

 

This two-day activity is planned on December 28 and 29, and will include activities from the necessary data entries in Co-WIN to vaccine receipt and allocation to deployment of team members, mock drill of session sites with test beneficiaries to reporting and evening meeting.

This will also include testing for cold storage and transportation arrangements for the vaccine, management of crowds at the session sites with proper physical distancing, said the Ministry.

“An important focus of the dry run will be on management of any possible adverse events following immunisation (AEFI),” said the release.

Infection control

This will be in addition to checking adherence and management of infection control practices at the session site, to prevent disease transmission.

“The mock drill will include concurrent monitoring and review at the block and district levels, and preparation of feedback to be shared with the State and Union Health Ministry,” the Ministry said.

Detailed checklist has been prepared by the Health Ministry and shared with the four States to guide them in the dry run.

Meanwhile the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended three prioritised population groups including Healthcare Workers (HCWs) about one crore, Frontline Workers (FLWs) about two crore, and Prioritised Age Group (about 27 crore).

The Ministry added that as vaccines are temperature sensitive and need to be stored in specific temperature, the present cold chain system consisting of 85,634 equipments for storage of vaccine at about 28,947 cold chain points across the country will be used for the cold chain administration.

The current cold chain is capable of storing additional quantity of COVID-19 vaccine required for the first three Crore prioritised population i.e Health Care Workers and Front Line Workers.

To strengthen the capacity of human resource for COVID-19 vaccine introduction and roll-out, detailed training modules have been developed for different categories of vaccine handlers and administrators including medical officers, vaccinators, alternate vaccinators, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators and all others involved in the implementation process at different levels.

The training includes all operational aspects of training like organization of vaccination sessions, use of Co-WIN IT platform for management of the entire vaccination process, deployment of HR Cold chain preparedness, management of adverse events, communications and inter-sectoral coordination, biomedical waste management, infection prevention protocols etc.

The Ministry said 2,360 participants were trained during national level Training of Trainers comprising of State immunisation officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials, development partners etc.

“As on date, the State level trainings had been completed in all States/UTs with participation of more than 7,000 district level trainees, except Lakshadweep which will conduct it soon (Dec. 29). Cascading down, 681 districts (49,604 trainees) have completed the training of Medical Officers on operational guidelines. Vaccination team trainings have been completed in 1399 out of 17831 blocks/ planning units. It is on going in the other blocks,” said the release.

Also to facilitate redressal of queries on COVID-19 vaccination and Co-WIN portal related queries, national 1075 and State 104 Helpline capacity has been strengthened to address queries beyond their routine support.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 7:17:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dry-run-for-covid-19-vaccine-rollout-in-4-states-next-week-govt/article33417936.ece

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