COVID-19 vaccination dry run begins today

COVID-19 vaccination dry run begins today

With over 10 million total infections, India will hold a dry run starting today for the largest and most ambitious mass immunisation programme in its history.

The dummy vaccination exercise, which will continue for two days, will be carried out in two districts in each of these four states — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, and Assam — on 28 and 29 December.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in a statement, said that detailed training modules had been developed for different categories of vaccine handlers and administrators including medical officers, vaccinators, alternate vaccinators, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators and others involved in the implementation process at various levels.

A detailed checklist has been prepared by the Union Health Ministry and shared with the four states to guide them in the dry run.

The dry run will proceed through four key steps, which will be monitored closely by the Centre:

1) Each district will receive the dummy vaccine for 100 beneficiaries from the nearest depot.

2) Temperature will be tracked through the vaccine's journey from the depot to the vaccination site.

3) An SMS will be sent in advance to the beneficiaries with the name of the vaccinator, and the time of the vaccination.

4) Each beneficiary will be made to sit for 30 minutes after being administered the shot; if an adverse event occurs, its management will be tracked through the central server.

The dry run is intended to test India's flagship vaccine delivery IT platform, Co-Win, at every stage, as per reports.

The health ministry also said that another important focus area of the dry run will be the management of possible adverse events following immunisation.

Several coronavirus vaccines will be temperature sensitive – and once the vaccination programme is rolled out, the country’s cold chain system of 85,634 pieces of equipment at 28,947 cold chain points will be used to store the vaccine.

Though the country has not given a nod to any Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, tested and manufactured in India by Serum Institute, is the front-runner. Once the UK drug regulator gives its approval to the vaccine, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation is likely to hold a meeting where the details will be reviewed and the nod will be given after evaluation.

Source: The Mint