India will on Saturday conduct a dry run ahead of the actual vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in an end-to-end exercise where all steps will be tested across states and Union territories. The activity will be conducted in all state capitals in at least three session sites and some states will also include districts that are remote. Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their capitals. “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 Union health ministry has said.
The government has already conducted a two-day pilot Covid-19 vaccination drive in eight districts in four states from December 28-29. Meanwhile, India’s Covid-19 tally has mounted to 10,286,709 and 148,994 people have succumbed to the viral disease, according to the Union health ministry.
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Here is all you need to know about the dry run:
1. The Union health ministry has said that the objective of the dry run for Covid-19 vaccine introduction is to “assess operational feasibility in the use of COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) application in a field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation”. This is also expected to give confidence to programme managers at various levels, it said.
2. During the dry run, for each of the three-session sites, the concerned medical officer-in-charge will identify 25 test beneficiaries, who will be healthcare workers. The states/UTs have been asked to ensure that the data of these beneficiaries is uploaded in Co-WIN.
3. These beneficiaries will also be available at the session site for the dry run. The states and Union territories will also prepare the facilities and create users on CoWIN application, including uploading the data of health care worker beneficiaries.
4. The states and Union territories have been asked to ensure physical verification of all proposed sites for the adequacy of space, logistical arrangements, internet connectivity, electricity, safety etc for demonstration.
5. The model sites will have separate entry and exit in the three-room set-up – one waiting room, one vaccination room, and an observation room – with adequate space outside for awareness generation activities.
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6. The sites will display all IEC material, ensure that all SOPs and protocols are being practised at the identified sites in an ideal environment along with vaccination teams to be identified and trained in all aspects.
7. A team of four people – one to check the documents, one to check the registration of the beneficiaries, one to monitor the person, and one to control the crowd — will be present.
8. The teams will have a vaccine carrier or a cold box that will be used to transport vaccines at the temperature they are meant to be stored from the cold chain points to the vaccination sites.
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9. An important focus of the dry run will be on the management of any possible adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). The focus will also be on adherence and management of infection control practices at the session site, to prevent disease transmission.
10. The mock drill will include concurrent monitoring and review at the block and district levels, and preparation of feedback. The State Task Force shall review the feedback and share with the Union health ministry.
11. States and Union territories have also been asked to address the communication challenges by taking in confidence all the concerned stakeholders and by augmenting the community engagement ‘Jan Bhagidari’ through innovative strategies.