All states to begin Covid-19 vaccine dry run on Jan 2

All states, UTs to begin dry run of Covid-19 vaccine on January 2

Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their capital

Representative Image. Credit: Reuters Photo

As the year ends with the hope of a Covid-19 vaccine on the horizon, the Union Health Ministry has asked every state to undertake a dry run on January 2 so that they can sort out possible logistical challenges before the vaccine is rolled out commercially.

The decision to conduct the dry run at every state capital was taken on Thursday at a high-level meeting to review the states’ preparedness as the government geared up for a never-done-before exercise to vaccinate 30 crore Indians over the next few months.

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Each state will undertake the mock vaccination drive at three camps and at each site 25 front-line volunteers would be given the shot. Their data will be uploaded on the Co-WIN application platform that would serve as the digital front of the entire campaign.

Each site will be a three-room set-up with adequate space outside to generate awareness on Covid-19.

While most of the states will do the dry run at the state capitals, Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their capital.

The dry run, according to the ministry, will equip the State and UT administration to manage vaccine supply, storage, and logistics including cold chain management.

An important focus of the dry run will be on the management of any possible adverse events following immunisation. In addition, the emphasis would be given on the adherence and management of infection control practices at the session site, to prevent disease transmission.

So far three vaccine manufacturers have approached the Central Drug Standards Control Organisation – the Indian drug regulator – seeking emergency approval of their vaccine.

The application of at least two of them Serum Institute of India, Pune, and Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad are supposed to be taken up for approval at an expert panel’s meeting on Friday.

The first round of the dry run was conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, and Punjab on December 28-29th in two districts each, where five-session sites with 25 beneficiaries each were identified. No major operational issues were observed in that exercise.

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For the vaccination, nearly 60,000 vaccinators have been trained so far, out of 2,360 persons were trained at the national level training of trainers whereas another 57,000 injection-givers received district level training in 719 districts. The aim is to train 96,000 vaccinators for the entire exercise.

India also ended the year with improved Covid-19 numbers as the count of daily new cases remained less than 25,000 since December 21 and daily Covid mortality dipped to less than 300 for the last six days. The country’s toll stands at 1,48,738 out of which 299 were added in the last 24 hours.