Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 vaccine dry run: Each centre can vaccinate 100 persons a day, TN Health Secretary says

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan at the vaccine dry run at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital on Saturday   | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

With the dry run for COVID-19 vaccines being simultaneously held at 17 health facilities in the State on Saturday, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said each vaccine centre will have the capacity to vaccinate 100 persons a day.

“The Centre had instructed that the dry run should be held at three sites in the State’s capital. In TN, we are holding the dry run in five districts that includes places such as The Nilgiris, which is a hilly region, Tirunelveli district in the south, and Coimbatore and Tiruvallur. We are conducting the trial simultaneously in 17 places,” he told reporters at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, one of the three dry run sites in Chennai.

The dry run is being held at three sites each in Chennai, The Nilgiris, Tirunelveli Health Unit District (HUD), Poonamallee HUD, and five sites in Coimbatore HUD. Nearly 2,000 staff are engaged in the dry run for the COVID-19 vaccine, and two hours were allotted to cover 25 persons at each site. Not more than 100 persons would be covered at each site and physical distancing norms would be followed due to COVID-19, he said.

Apart from 25 to 30 enlisted participants, each centre has five staff members such as vaccinators, and doctors as supervisors. Teams headed by the Joint Commissioner (Health) of the Corporation, Collectors at the district-level and the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the State-level were formed.

6 lakh health workers registered for vaccine

Mr. Radhakrishnan said that nearly 6 lakh healthcare workers were registered for the vaccine in the first phase. This would be followed by frontline workers, and later, the elderly. Persons aged less than 50 with co-morbidities, and the general public would follow. The official said work to register the details of healthcare workers was 95% completed. Healthcare workers in all healthcare facilities -- government, private and armed forces -- were being registered.

“Each vaccine centre will have a capacity for 100 persons a day. There will be separate entry and exit points. Staff at the centre will check if the person’s name is on the registered list of beneficiaries in the CoWin app. We have a registered list of beneficiaries and are checking if the software is running well,” he said.

From the waiting room, the person would move to the vaccine room once their identity is confirmed. Once he/she receives the vaccine, ‘yes’ would be clicked on the application following which they would receive an SMS on their mobile phone. This was also tested during the dry run. “We have an observation room to check if the person experiences any changes after the vaccination. We also checked if all kinds of drugs are kept ready in the room. The initial learning is to create more space for the vaccine room,” he said.

Officials from the World Health Organisation and UNICEF were observing the dry run. During the dry run, Internet connections at these places was also being checked. “The observations from the dry run will be communicated to the Centre,” the Health Secretary said.

Arrangements made

“We have 51 cold storage facilities at the State-level and big cities, and 2,600 points in second-level areas. We are checking if the cooling is sufficient in the vaccine boxes as they will have to reach remote areas. At Corporations, zone-level teams were formed for monitoring, while block-level teams were formed by district Collectors,” he said.

As of date, 46,200 vaccine sites are readied. “We have readied walk-in coolers that have the capacity to store 2.5 crore vaccines,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 7:55:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-vaccine-dry-run-each-centre-can-vaccinate-100-persons-a-day-tn-health-secretary-says/article33479067.ece

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