Health Ministry conducts dry run for Covid vaccine in Assam, Andhra, Punjab, Gujarat before rollout

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare conducted a two-day dry run for activities entailed in Covid-19 vaccination in four states (Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Gujarat) on 28th and 29th December 2020, according to a press statement from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Backed with the experience of rolling out Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) and conducting nationwide multiple wide-range injectable vaccination campaigns such as measles-rubella (MR) and Adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) campaign, required steps are being undertaken to vaccinate priority population groups such as healthcare workers, frontline workers, and people above 50 years of age for Covid-19, according to the Health Ministry.

The dry run exercise is aimed at end-to-end testing of the Covid-19 vaccination process and includes planning & preparations as per the Operational Guidelines; creation of facilities & users on Co-WIN application, session site creation & mapping of sites, Health Care Workers (HCW) data upload, receipt of vaccines and vaccine allocation by the district, session planning, deployment of vaccination team, logistics mobilisation at session site, mock drill of conducting vaccination and reporting and review meetings at the block, districts, and state level. The objective of the dry run is also to undertake and confirm field implementation of IT platform Co-WIN and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation, stated the Health Ministry.

The District Collector, with the engagement of district and block task force, was made responsible for conducting the dry run and was expected to provide insights on any gaps or bottlenecks during the actual conduct of vaccination. The two-day end-to-end dry run was undertaken in Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh, Rajkot and Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) in Punjab, and Sonitpur and Nalbari districts in Assam.

The Health Ministry stated that specific teams were formed for various tasks by the district administration, and activities like uploading of dummy beneficiary’s data, session site creation, vaccine allocation, communication vaccination details to vaccinators & beneficiaries, and beneficiary mobilisation were carried out.

Field feedback on the first day of the dun run was also reviewed on 29th December 2020 through video conferencing with state & district programme officers by Joint Secretary (Public Health). All states expressed satisfaction in terms of the 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 so obtained will help enrich the operational guidelines and IT platform and will strengthen the Covid-19 vaccination roll out plan, the Health Ministry stated.

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The ID Staff

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