COVID-19 vaccine: Dry run goes on smoothly except for minor glitches

The exercise was conducted in Bengaluru Urban, Kalaburagi, Shivamogga, Mysuru, and Belagavi

Published - January 03, 2021 02:10 am IST - Special Correspondent

The COVID-19 vaccine dry run being conducted at a Urban Primary Health Centre near Vidyapeetha Circle, in Bengaluru South on Saturday.

The COVID-19 vaccine dry run being conducted at a Urban Primary Health Centre near Vidyapeetha Circle, in Bengaluru South on Saturday.

The two-hour vaccination dry run carried out on Saturday to test preparedness for the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine went on smoothly in the State except for minor glitches.

The dry run was conducted in three ‘vaccine session sites’ each in Bengaluru Urban, Kalaburagi, Shivamogga, Mysuru and Belagavi districts. Around 100 vaccinators and 375 beneficiaries were part of the exercise.

According to doctors who monitored the mock drill, minor software glitches were reported from some sites. The glitches were observed by the vaccinators during beneficiary verification using the Co-WIN application.

Challenges and difficulties faced at the session sites of each district will be collected and communicated to the Union government, said State Health Director Om Prakash R. Patil.

30-minute delay

In Shikaripura Primary Health Centre (PHC), one of the vaccine sites in Shivamogga, the mock drill was delayed by over half an hour. Although beneficiaries had lined up at the PHC, the staff had not turned up. Shivamogga District Health Officer Rajesh Suragihalli said a dead body was brought to the centre for post-mortem at short notice and the staff had to attend to the emergency. The delay was because of this. However, the dry run started subsequently and went on smoothly, he said.

Tetanus shots

At Kamakshipalya PHC, which was one of the vaccine sites in Bengaluru, two persons got a first-hand experience as they actually got an injection administered in the vaccination room.

Manoranjan Hegde, BBMP West Zone Health Officer, said the two had requested for a Tetanus injection as they had a wound. “As the vaccine storage freezers also have other vaccines stored in them, Tetanus shots were available there and following a request they were administered to two persons,” he said.

The dry run was an exercise for end-to-end testing of COVID-19 vaccination process, except the actual vaccination. Three rooms, a waiting area, syringes, beneficiaries, vaccinators who will administer the vaccine, adverse events following immunization (AEFI) kits which are usually kept ready during all immunisation programmes, and an observation room were kept ready at each vaccine site.

Beneficiaries who participated in the exercise, said after they had enrolled on Co-WIN application, they were sent an SMS asking them to visit a particular vaccine site along with their ID proof in the two-hour time slot from 9 a.m. on Saturday.

“An actual rehearsal was done. We were made to wait for our turn in a room maintaining social distance. We were let into the vaccination room one by one and from there into the observation room after which we exited through another entry,” said a beneficiary.

‘State is ready’

Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, who visited the vaccine session site at Yelahanka General Hospital in Bengaluru said the State is ready to carry out COVID-19 vaccination.

Stating that the dry run has helped provide confidence to programme managers at various levels, he said: “It is expected that a vaccine may be available in January itself and this dry run will help us to implement the vaccination drive later. We will collate feedback.”

Infrastructure

“The Centre will issue detailed guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for vaccination. All necessary infrastructure like cold storage, logistics, manpower are being arranged. We will also use the existing infrastructure and Centre will augment the additional infrastructure,” he added.

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