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Explained: What is a corona vaccine dry run?

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New Delhi, Dec 28: Barely days away from the roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine in India, a mock drill of the Covid-19 vaccination drive will be conducted across all states and Union Territories on Saturday, as per the central government order. The exercise is aimed at testing the preparedness for the vaccine rollout.

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness at various session sites in the country for coronavirus vaccination trial run on Friday.

Representational Image

What is a dry run?

To assess the readiness for India's biggest immunisation programme, a dry run has been planned by the Centre on December 28 and 29.

This two-day activity will include activities from the necessary data entries in Co-WIN to vaccine receipt & allocation to deployment of team members, mock drill of session sites with test beneficiaries to reporting and evening meeting.

This will also include testing for cold storage and transportation arrangements for COVID19 vaccine, management of crowd at the session sites with proper physical distancing.

What does the Covid-19 vaccination dry run entail?

The selected districts fro the fourt states will receive the dummy vaccine for 100 beneficiaries from the nearest depot.

The vaccine's temperature will be tracked through its journey from the depot to the vaccination site.

An SMS will be sent in advance to the beneficiaries with the name of the vaccinator, and the time of the vaccination.

Each beneficiary will be made to sit for 30 minutes after being administered the shot; if an adverse event occurs, its management will be tracked through the central server.

Detailed checklist has been prepared by the Union health Ministry and shared with the four States to guide them in the dry run.

How many people have been trained

As the vaccine administrators will play an important role in the vaccination process, training of trainers and those who shall administer the vaccine has been taken up across various States.

A detailed training modules have been developed for different categories of vaccine handlers and administrators including medical officers, vaccinators, alternate vaccinators, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators and all others involved in the implementation process at different levels.

The training includes all operational aspects of training like organization of vaccination sessions, use of Co-WIN IT platform for management of the entire vaccination process, deployment of HR Cold chain preparedness, Management of adverse events, communications and intersectoral coordination, biomedical waste management, infection prevention protocols etc.

2,360 participants were trained during national level Training of Trainers which comprised state immunization officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials, development partners etc.

As on date, the State level trainings had been completed in all States/UTs with participation of more than 7000 district level trainees, except Lakshadweep which will conduct it soon (29th Dec).

Cascading down, 681 districts (49,604 trainees) have completed the training of Medical Officers on operational guidelines. Vaccination team trainings have been completed in 1399 out of 17831 blocks/ planning units. It is on going in the other blocks.

To facilitate redressal of queries on COVID-19 vaccination and Co-WIN portal related queries, national 1075 and state 104 Helpline capacity has also been strengthened to address queries beyond their routine support.

Putting cold chain to test

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    As vaccines are temperature sensitive and need to be stored in specific temperature, the present cold chain system consisting of 85,634 equipments for storage of vaccine at about 28,947 cold chain points across the country will be used for the cold chain administration.

    The current cold chain is capable of storing additional quantity of Covid-19 vaccine required for the first 3 Crore prioritised population i.e Health Care Workers and Front Line Workers.

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