Administrations of all states and union territories conducted a dry run for COVID-19 vaccination today, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges. The activity was proposed to be conducted in all state capitals in at least 3 session sites. Some states included districts that are situated in difficult terrain/have poor logistical support, while Maharashtra and Kerala scheduled the dry run in major cities other than their capital, the Union Health Ministry said.
"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 guideway forward prior to actual implementation. This is also expected to give confidence to program managers at various levels," the ministry said.
The central government had asked all states and UTs to ensure effective preparedness for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
The states and UTs were asked to ensure that the data of these beneficiaries is uploaded in Co-WIN. The states and UTs were also asked to prepare the facilities and users to be created on the Co-WIN application including uploading the data of Health Care Worker (HCW) beneficiaries, the ministry stated.
The states and UTs were asked to ensure physical verification of all proposed sites for the adequacy of space, logistical arrangements, internet connectivity, electricity, safety, etc. and prepare at least three model session sites in each state (at state capital) for demonstration.
They were asked to 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 and 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.
The dry run equipped the state and UT administration in the management of vaccine supply, storage and logistics including cold chain management, the ministry stated.
Around 96,000 vaccinators were trained for this purpose. A total of 2,360 participants have been trained in the National Training of Trainers and over 57,000 participants trained in district-level training in 719 districts.
An important focus of the dry run was 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 ministry said.
The mock drill included concurrent monitoring and review at the block and district levels and preparation of feedback. The State Task Force shall review the feedback and share it with the Union Health Ministry.
States/UTs were also asked to address the communication challenges by taking in confidence all the stakeholders and by augmenting the community engagement through innovative strategies.
A detailed checklist was prepared by the Union Health Ministry and shared with the states and UTs to guide them in the dry run.
The first round of the dry run was conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Punjab on 28-29 December in two districts each where five-session sites with 25 beneficiaries each were identified.
No major issues were observed in the operational aspects during this dry run.
All States expressed confidence in the operational guidelines and IT platform for large-scale program implementation, the ministry said.
Health Minister visits Delhi's GTB hospital to review dry run drill
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan arrived at Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital on Saturday to review the dry run of administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), 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 the way forward prior to actual implementation".