Vaccine doses might be issued to Telangana in instalments

Health officials take part in dry run for Covid-19 vaccination at a primary health centre in Hyderabad on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G.

The COVID-19 vaccination dry run was conducted at four sites in Hyderabad and three sites in Mahabubnagar on Saturday. No vaccine was administered during the drill. Senior officials in the Telangana Health department had earlier said that the COVID-19 vaccine would be available by mid-January.

According to the ‘COVID-19 Vaccines Operational Guidelines’ issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the objectives of the dry run include assessment of operational feasibility of using CoWIN application in field environment, test linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms, identifying challenges and guiding the way forward prior to actual implementation, and providing confidence to programme managers at various levels.

In the first phase of vaccination, around 80 lakh beneficiaries have been identified in Telangana. They include healthcare workers, frontline workers such as municipal and sanitation workers, people above the age of 50 years irrespective of their medical condition, and people under the age of 50 years with co-morbidities. The vaccination is, however, not mandatory.

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender said there are indications that the Central government would issue five lakh doses after the dry run. It would be followed by 10 lakh doses, and then one crore doses. Senior officials from the department have said the vaccine would be given in two doses. To vaccinate around 80 lakh beneficiaries in the first phase, around 1.6 crore doses would be required.

In Hyderabad, the dry run was conducted in Area Hospital at Nampally, Gandhi Hospital, Urban Primary Health Centre in Tilaknagar, and at a corporate hospital.

The vaccination process involves three steps; the first is registration or verification. ID cards of beneficiary is cross-checked in the CoWIN software. After confirming the details, the beneficiary will be administered the vaccine. Thereafter, their health condition will be monitored for half hour in observation room.

At the Area Hospital in Nampally, a ward was divided into three sections — verification counter, vaccination counter, and observation room.

Around 25 staff nurses, Class-IV employees, and others in the Area Hospital were listed as beneficiaries in the dry run. The staff nurses said that they were asked to bring their Health department ID card, and Aadhaar card. The entire drill included staying in the observation room for half hour though a vaccine was not administered.

A staff nurse, Roja, said that she was keen to take the vaccine when it arrives to beat the constant worry of contracting the novel coronavirus while on duty. “My family and I will be safe,” she added.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 10:04:15 AM |

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