A dry run has been planned by the Centre on December 28 and 29 in four states – Punjab, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat to assess the readiness of mechanism laid out for Covid-19 vaccination drive in India. Each state will plan it in two districts and preferably in five different session-type settings – district hospital, community health centre (CHC) or primary health care centre (PHC), urban site, private health facility and rural outreach.
Dry run for Covid-19 vaccination in 4 states
A detailed checklist has been prepared by the Union Health Ministry and shared with the four states which will participate in the dry run.
“The Central government is gearing up for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine across the country. As the vaccine administrators will play an important role in the immunisation process, training of trainers and those who shall administer the vaccine has been taken up across various states,” the health ministry said.
As many as 2,360 participants were trained during a national-level training of trainers, which comprised state immunisation officers, cold chain officers, information, education and communication officials and development partners.
As on date, state-level training has been completed in all states and Union Territories with the participation of more than 7,000 district level trainees, except Lakshadweep which will conduct it on December 29. Cascading down, 681 districts have completed the training of medical officers on operational guidelines, the ministry said.
To facilitate redressal of queries on COVID-19 vaccination and Co-WIN portal, national and state helpline capacity has also been strengthened.
Covid-19 vaccination will be voluntary in India
Getting vaccinated for Covid-19 will be voluntary, the Union Health Ministry has said though it will be advisable to receive a complete schedule of the anti-coronavirus vaccine.
The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended three prioritised population groups including, healthcare workers (about 1 crore), frontline workers (about 2 crore), and prioritized age group (about 27 crore).
Cold chain system to be used for storage of vaccines
As vaccines are temperature-sensitive, the present cold chain system consisting of 85,634 equipment for storage of vaccine at about 28,947 cold chain points across the country will be used, the ministry stated.
The mock drill will include concurrent monitoring and review at block and district levels, and preparation of feedback to be shared with the state and the Centre. An important focus of the dry run will be on the management of any possible adverse events following immunisation (AEFI).