Four States begin dry run for vaccine roll out

Healthcare staff conducts a dry run for administering COVID-19 vaccine in Gandhinagar on December 28, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

The dry run to test preparedness for the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine kicked off on Monday in four States across the country — Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab.

The two-day end-to-end dry run was carried out in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Rajkot and Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) in Punjab and Sonitpur and Nalbari districts in Assam.

Intended beneficiaries of each State who had registered on the Co-WIN app were on Monday sent SMSes informing them about the time and place of their “COVID-19 vaccination” under a mock drill to administer the shots at designated centres.

A detailed check list was prepared by the Union Health Ministry and shared with the four States to guide them in the dry run, said the Ministry.

In Gujarat, the actual field visits will begin on Tuesday, said State immunisation officer Nayan Jani. The dry run began on Monday in Rajkot district, Rajkot city, Gandhinagar district and Gandhinagar city, Mr. Jani told media persons.

“The actual (potential) vaccine shots will not be administered to people during the dry run,” he said.

The Punjab government successfully completed the exercise at 12 sites of two districts.

Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the UNDP and the WHO, the State’s immunisation partners, supported the Monday exercise. In Ludhiana, seven centres have been set up at various hospitals. Health officials in Ludhiana and Nawanshahr said for each centre, 25 persons from those registered online were selected for the dry run.

Assam health officials said they focussed on software efficacy and will carry out the physical part of the drill involving 300 people in two districts.

“Today’s dry run was mostly related to the Co-WIN software and encountered some bottlenecks during the software arrangement for selection of vaccine sites, vaccinators and the beneficiaries, generating messages for each of them for informing them to come on a particular date and time when the vaccine arrives,” said Lakshmanan S, director of the National Health Mission, Assam.

Andhra Pradesh’s two-day exercise will be conducted at five session sites, including public and private medical institutions, with 25 dummy beneficiaries (healthcare workers) at each site for two hours.. The sites selected are Government General Hospital, Vijayawada; Public Health Centre (PHC), Uppuluru; Purna Heart Institute, Vijayawada; PHC,Penamaluru; and Urban PHC, Prakash Nagar, Vijayawada.

District Collector A. Md. Imtiaz, who inspected the arrangements at Prakash Nagar UPHC, said each session site had five vaccine officers and three rooms. “The entire process of registration, vaccination and observation was enacted to identify any flaws in the system,” he said.

(With inputs from Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Guwahati and Vijayawada)

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 12:29:51 AM |

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