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India's Covid-19 vaccination dry run in numbers: 286 sessions, 1.1 lakh vaccinators trained on Day 1

All the state and district officials were trained on the Operational Guidelines and for conducting the dry-run (Photo: PTI) Premium
All the state and district officials were trained on the Operational Guidelines and for conducting the dry-run (Photo: PTI)

  • More than 75 lakh beneficiaries have been registered on Co-WIN software till date ahead of Covid-19 vaccine roll out in the country
  • The preparation to handle any Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) at all session sites and functionality of the Call Centers was also tested

India today carried out a nationwide Covid-19 vaccine dry run as the country moves closer to begin its massive Covid-19 vaccination roll out for the general public.

The vaccine dry run exercise took place amid the news of government's expert panel recommending restricted emergency approval to two Covid-19 vaccines being manufactured in the country: Serum Institute of India's locally produced Oxford-Astrzeneca Covid-19 vaccine Covishield and Bharat Biotech's indigenously manufactured Covaxin.

The government said the final decision on the two vaccines would be made by the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation's (CDSCO) chief, who has called a news conference on Sunday.

As for the dry run exercise, the minister stated, "In a massive nation-wide exercise today, an end-to-end mock drill on the vaccine administration was conducted today in all States and UTs at 286 session sites spread across 125 districts."

Each district conducted the dry run at three sites or more which included a public health facility (District Hospital/Medical College), Private Health Facility, and rural or urban outreach sites.

All the State and District officials were trained on the Operational Guidelines and for conducting the dry-run. This dry run was aimed at testing the laid out mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in the health system and to assess operational feasibility of using Co-WIN application in field environment for planning, implementation and reporting at the block, district and state level. The dry run was also conducted to familiarize the State, District, Block and Hospital level officers on all aspects of COVID-19 roll ou, it added.

The States and UTs conducted the dry run from 9:00 am across the country. The activities starting from beneficiary data upload, session site allocation and micro-planning, vaccine allocation, session site management with test beneficiaries, reporting mechanism etc. were covered in this one-day dry run to execute the nearest possible simulation of the actual day, the ministry further stated.

The preparation to handle any Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) at all session sites and functionality of the Call Centers was also tested. It was supervised by the District collectors.

This dry run ended with debriefing meetings at district and the state level to discuss the issues and challenges encountered during the day. "MoHFW was in constant touch with the States throughout the day to seek feedback on their experience. The States/UTs have expressed complete satisfaction on the successful conduct of the dry run which included the operational process and its linkages with the Co-WIN Software," the ministry said in a statement.

The Co-WIN software has been developed by MoHFW for real time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine. This software will assist the programme managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and a digital certificate will be generated upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule. More than 75 lakh beneficiaries have been registered on Co-WIN software till date.

The cold chain infrastructure is sufficient to ensure last-mile delivery of COVID-19 vaccine in a temperature-controlled environment across the country. Sufficient supplies of syringes and other logistics have also been ensured to begin COVID-19 vaccination drive. Around 1,14,100 vaccinators have been trained on the process to be followed at the vaccination sites which includes beneficiary verification, vaccination, cold chain & logistics management, Bio-Medical Waste management, AE7FI management and uploading the information on Co-WIN software.

The entire operational planning and IT platform has been field-tested in four states which include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Punjab and Gujarat on 28 and 29th December, 2020 and on the basis of feedback received, minor enhancements have been made in the IT system.

Earlier today, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan appealed to people not to be misguided by "rumours" and disinformation campaigns regarding the safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine, stressing that there would be no compromise on any protocol while approving it.

Vardhan, who visited two mock vaccination sites in Delhi to review the drill, said free vaccine would be provided in the first phase of the inoculation drive to the most prioritised beneficiaries, including one crore healthcare and two crore frontline workers.

He added that details of how 27 crore priority beneficiaries -- those above 50 years of age and those below it having comorbidities -- would be vaccinated until July were being finalised.

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