Country all set for another Covid shot dry run today

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on January 08, 2021

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reviewed the preparedness for the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination dry run on Friday   -  PTI

As India inches towards its mammoth Covid-19 vaccination programme, expected to cover over 30 crore individuals in the first phase, it has planned one more inoculation mock drill in 736 districts across the States and Union Territories on Friday.

The roll-out of the actual vaccine is expected next week.

Addressing Health Ministers and other healthcare officials from different States, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged them to lead the initiative from the front with keen oversight and personal involvment.

The dry run will be carried out in at least at three sessions in each district, he said.

He urged the Ministers to be alert for any disinformation campaign regarding the vaccines saying, “miscreants may derail the whole exercise, set the clock back by years.”

Vardhan said he would visit four mock-drill session sites in Tamil Nadu.

Briefing the State Ministers and officials, Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry, said the transportation of vaccines from manufacturing facilities to GMSDs will happen with the help of Ministry of Civil Aviation. GMSDs are also located at Karnal, Kolkata and Mumbai.

He said till Wednesday, a total of 78.62 lakh healthcare personnel’s data has been loaded on to the Co-WIN platform and also urged the States to provide data for rest of the healthcare personnel at the earliest.

₹480 crore alloted

According to Agnani, the Finance Ministry has released ₹480 crore towards the vaccination expenses and this has been disbursed to the States as per the number of enrolment in each State. Similarly, sufficient cold chain equipment, syringes and other logistics have been provided to the States to conduct the vaccination smoothly.

An official statement said the objective of Friday’s mock drill is to simulate the actual vaccine administration event.

During the exercise, the entire planning of the vaccination drive including beneficiary registration, microplanning and vaccination at the planned session site will be tested. To be led from the front by District Collector or District Magistrate, the dry run will also familiarise the State, district, block and hospital level officers on all aspects of Covid-19 vaccination roll out, it said.

Vardhan said the experience gained through India’s two-decade-long universal immunisation programme where 12 vaccines are administered free of cost and conduct of elections will come handy in rolling out the programme.

He, however, reminded his State counterparts and other officials that the national Polio campaign to be held on January 17 should be in no way be affected by the Covid-19 vaccination as “India cannot take the risk of allowing polio to resurface.”

Published on January 07, 2021

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