New Delhi, Dec 31
All States will begin the dry run for Covid-19 vaccination from January 2. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of the Union Health Ministry on Thursday.
The dry run will be conducted by all the State and UT Governments on 2nd January 2021 (Saturday). The Ministry has proposed that the dry run be conducted in all State capitals in at least three session sites.
In Manipur the dry run will be held at Imphal West and Thoubal, informed a well placed source.
“Some States will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain/have poor logistical support; Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their capital,” the Union Health Ministry said.
Earlier, a two-day dry run to assess the readiness of the mechanism laid out for the Covid-19 immunisation drive was successfully conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Assam, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. Field feedback on the first day of the dry run was reviewed on December 29 through video conferencing with State and District Programme Officers by the Joint Secretary (Public Health).
"All the States expressed satisfaction in terms of operational approach and use of IT platform to ensure transparency and effective monitoring of vaccination processes expected to cover a large number of people across the country.
"Additional suggestions on IT platform were also noted for further enhancement of Co-WIN platform. Detailed insights and feedback obtained will help enrich the operational guidelines and IT platform, and will strengthen the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out plan," the Ministry said.
Aim of dry run
According to the Union Health Ministry, the objective of the dry run for Covid-19 vaccine introduction is to assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in a field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation. This is also expected to give confidence to programme managers at various levels, the Ministry said.
“The planning for the vaccine introduction will be as per the operational guidelines issued by the Ministry on December 20, 2020. For each of the three session sites, the concerned Medical Officer in-charge will identify 25 test beneficiaries (health care workers)”, the Ministry said.
The States/UTs have been asked to ensure that the data of these beneficiaries is uploaded in Co-WIN. These beneficiaries will also be available at the session site for the dry run. The States and UTs shall prepare the facilities and users to be created on Co-WIN application including uploading the data of Health Care Worker (HCW) beneficiaries.
The States/UTs have been asked to:
- Ensure physical verification of all proposed sites for the adequacy of space, logistical arrangements, internet connectivity, electricity, safety etc;
-Prepare at least three model session sites in each State (at State capital) for demonstration;
-Ensure that the model sites have separate entry and exit in a ‘three-room set-up’ with adequate space outside for awareness generation activities;
-Display all IEC material at these sites;
-Ensure that all SOPs and protocols are being practiced at the identified sites in an ideal environment along with vaccination teams to be identified and trained in all aspects.
The dry run will also equip the State and UT administration in the management of vaccine supply, storage and logistics including cold chain management, the Ministry said.
As the vaccine administrators will play an important role in the vaccination process, training of trainers and those who shall administer the vaccine has been taken up across various States. Around 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for this purpose. Over 2,300 participants have been trained in National Training of Trainers and over 57,000 participants trained in district level training in 719 districts.
States are augmenting the State helpline 104 (which shall be used in addition to 1075) for any vaccine/software related query. Orientation and capacity building of the call centre executives has taken place in the States/UTs. States were also encouraged to use the FAQs issued by the health ministry proactively to address any such query.
Management of possible adverse effects
An important focus of the dry run will be on the management of any possible adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). In addition, adherence and management of infection control practices at the session site, to prevent disease transmission. The mock drill will include concurrent monitoring and review at the block and district levels, and preparation of feedback.
Covid-19 vaccine expected soon
AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Wednesday said that India will have the Covid-19 vaccine within days.
Terming the approval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the UK as a "big step forward" he said, "This is very good news that AstraZeneca got approval for its vaccine by UK regulatory authorities. They have robust data and in India and the same vaccine is being developed by the Serum Institute of India. This is a big step forward not only for India but many parts of the world.
"This vaccine can be stored at two to eight degrees centigrade. Therefore it would be easy to store and transportation. Storage can be done using a simple fridge rather than what is required in the Pfizer vaccine of minus 70 degrees centigrade," Dr Guleria told ANI.