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Countrywide dry run on COVID-19 vaccine administration begins today

harsh ji

After the January 2 dry run of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, held at 285 session sites across 125 districts, the Union Health Ministry will conduct a second round of massive countrywide mock drill tomorrow at 736 districts across 33 States/UTs.

Uttar Pradesh has already conducted an all districts- dry run on January 5 while Haryana conducted the dry run in all districts on January 7.

Aimed at ensuring efficient planning and management for vaccine delivery in each district of all States/UTs, each district will identify three types of session sites, similar to the previous dry run including a public health facility (District Hospital/Medical College), private health facility and rural or urban outreach sites.

With two COVID-19 vaccines given emergency use authorization by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) recently, the PIB release stated that the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to begin in the near future, and entails the need for testing of all planned mechanisms for conducting the vaccination drive in the country.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare will visit the State of Tamil Nadu and personally review the preparedness and oversee the dry run operations at the scheduled sites. He met the State/UT Health Ministers Thursday to guide States/UTs on the conduct of dry run. The entire planning of the vaccination drive including beneficiary registration, microplanning, and vaccination at the planned session site, will be tested under the leadership of District Collector/District Magistrate.

The dry run will also familiarise the State, District, Block, and Hospital level officers on all aspects of COVID-19 roll out. This activity will help administrators in strengthening the linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms, identification of any residual challenges prior to the actual implementation and providing confidence to the programme managers at all levels to carry out a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive.

The entire vaccination process will be run on the Co-WIN app/software developed by the Health Ministry for real-time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine.

This software will assist the programme managers across all levels in the conduct of the vaccination sessions. A dedicated 24×7 call centre has also been established for technical queries of Co-WIN users. The cold chain infrastructure (like walk-in-freezers, walk-in-coolers, ice-lined refrigerators, deep freezers) along with sufficient supplies of syringes and other logistics have been ensured to begin the COVID-19 vaccination drive, as per the statement.

Around 1.7 lakh vaccinators and 3 lakh vaccination team members have been trained on the process to be followed at the vaccination sites which include beneficiary verification, vaccination, cold chain and logistics management, bio-medical waste management, AEFI management, and reporting on Co-WIN software.

Detailed operational guidelines on all aspects of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, including session planning & management, session site layout & its organization, AEFI management, IEC messages, infection prevention & control practices, etc., have reportedly already been shared with the States/UTs and they have also been oriented on the same.

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