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Home / News / India /  Covid vaccine dry run held in all states across India: 10 points

The dry run drill for administering coronavirus vaccines and plug loopholes in logistics and training has started in all the states and Union Territories across the country.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday visited two mock vaccination sites in the national capital to review the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

The vaccination dry run comes a day after a panel of government-appointed experts recommended approval for the Oxford vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India in Pune.

Saturday's exercise is the second dry run being conducted in India - the first was on 28 and 29 December in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat.

Here's your 10-point update to this story:

1) Harsh Vardhan has said that the Covid-19 vaccine will be free across the country. Assuring about the vaccine's efficacy and safety, the Health Minister urged people to not pay heed to the misconceptions and anti-vaccine rumours. "I have ample personal experience from the Polio Eradication campaign of 1994 about how the people of the country placed their trust in the science of the vaccine rather than the falsehoods and canards being spread by some rumour-mongers," Vardhan said.

2) The entire exercise of the vaccination process is being systematically taken forward, including training of personnel for administering the vaccine, the Health Minister said today, adding that the dry run is being conducted in 116 districts across 259 sites. Some 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for this, he said.

3) The vaccination drive will also test the operational feasibility in the use of CoWIN application -- a digital platform to roll out and scale up the vaccination drive -- in a field environment. Speaking about CoWIN, Vardhan said that the digital platform is the real game-changer and will provide real-time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries of the vaccine.

4) Around 25 health workers will receive dummy vaccines at each spot as part of the dry run. "An important focus of the dry run will be on management of any possible adverse events following immunisation," the Health Ministry has informed.

5) On the preparedness for ensuring that the vaccine reaches even the remotest corner of the country, Vardhan said that India's cold chain infrastructure has been sufficiently upgraded to ensure last-mile delivery. Adequate supplies of syringes and other logistics have also been provided.

6) The dry run of the vaccination drive spread across 125 districts is covering all states and UTs having adequate representation of urban and rural districts along with hard-to-reach areas.

7) In the national capital, the dummy drive is being carried out in Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in Shahdara, urban primary health centre in Daryaganj and Venkateshwar Hospital in Dwarka.

8) In Bengaluru, the dry run is being conducted at three centres. The exercise in Lucknow is being held at six places. In Pune, it is to be held in three healthcare centres, apart from Nagpur, Jalna, and Nandurbar. Chhattisgarh is holding the dry run at seven districts. The day-long drive will be carried out in four districts in Gujarat. Punjab is conducting the dry run in Patiala, and Haryana is carrying out the exercise in Panchkula.

9) Ahead of the actual vaccination drive, the Health Ministry today conducted a nationwide mock drill at 285 session sites to test the end-to-end planned operations and the mechanism that has been set up to ensure smooth conduct of the vaccination that is expected to begin soon.

10) India is awaiting vaccination for coronavirus and it will start anytime soon after the DCGI approves a Covid-19 vaccine. The SII in Pune is making the vaccine Covishield developed by Oxford University and drug giant AstraZeneca, while Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has partnered with the ICMR for its Covaxin.

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