Covid vaccination mock drill in seven districts from four States

T V Jayan New Delhi | Updated on December 27, 2020

The dry run will test the planned operations and provide insights on any gaps to be addressed

Authorities in four States — Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab — will carry out a mock vaccination drill in seven selected districts on Monday and Tuesday to test India’s preparedness to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine as and when it gets the regulator’s nod.

Last week, the Union Health Ministry announced that a dry run would be carried out in a few districts in four States located in different geographical regions to ascertain the Indian health system’s ability to inoculate 30 crore people in the shortest possible time.

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In Punjab, as many as 12 sites — seven in Ludhiana and five in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar — will have the dry run. “This will be a mix of urban and rural sites, including Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. We have chosen 25 volunteers for each of the vaccination sites,” said Rajesh Bhaskar, State Nodal Officer for Punjab.

Similarly, the drill will be carried out in Rajkot and Gandhinagar districts.

Hands-on experience

Gujarat Health Commissioner, Jai Prakash Shivahare, told BusinessLine that the State machinery is geared for the vaccination dry run in these two districts. “The objective is to get hands-on experience of on-ground execution of vaccination programme. This is to test various aspects, including the IT platform created by the Centre, how to create user database, how to allot centres, monitor cold chain, make appointments and how to administer the vaccine, etc,” he said.

The vaccination centres will include district hospitals, community health centres, primary health centres and private hospitals. Of the two districts, Gandhinagar will have 10 such centres while Rajkot will have 9 centres. About 495 healthcare workers will participate as volunteers. “Whole team of administration and health department from State level to district level are involved so that everyone should know what is their role and how they are going to respond to it,” Shivahare said.

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In Assam, the districts chosen for the exercise are Sonitpur and Nalbari. There would be five session sites each in these districts with medical officers as supervisors. The number of beneficiaries will be 25 for each of these sites while five vaccinators will be allotted for each site, Assam State nodal officer Munindra Ngatey told BusinessLine.

Co-WIN application

The dry run in Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, will be confined to one district — Krishna — where the mock exercise will be carried out in five sessions. As per the details released by the State government, the dry run will be conducted at district hospital/medical college, GGH, Vijayawada, Uppuluru PHC, Purna Heart Institute, PHCs at Penamaluru and Prakash Nagar.

The primary objective of the dry run in Krishna district is to check the operational feasibility of using Co-WIN application in field planning, implementation and reporting mechanism.

The dry run is also aimed at testing the planned operations and the laid-out mechanisms for vaccination. It will provide insights on any gaps or bottlenecks so that those could be addressed before the commencement of the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

With additional inputs from Rutam Vora in Ahmedabad and Naga Sridhar in Hyderabad

Published on December 27, 2020

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