As part of the nationwide exercise, the Tamil Nadu government Saturday launched a dry run for the Covid-19 vaccination in five cities — Chennai, Nilgris, Tirunelveli, Poonamalle and Coimbatore.
Addressing the reporters at the Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital (RGGH) in Chennai, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said the purpose of the dry run is to check the various steps of the vaccination process, including the efficiency of the CoWIN app, internet accessibility, and the management of any possible adverse events. He also said that 25 health workers underwent dummy vaccination today.
Radhakrishnan said the participants in the dry run have not been picked randomly but are those that the state has identified to provide the vaccine on a priority basis.
“The vaccination site will be similar to an election booth. There will be a minimum of five health department officials, a Chief Medical Officer and other health care workers. The plan is to vaccinate 25 persons in two hours. The entire process will be under the supervision of the Director of Public Health following the guidelines issued by the Centre and the World Health Organisation (WHO),” said the Health Secretary.
Elaborating the vaccination process, Radhakrishnan further said: “Vaccinator 1 will allow the beneficiary to enter the vaccination site only if his name is on the list provided to them by the state government. Then, the second vaccinator will verify whether the person’s identity matches the information provided on the CoWIN app.Then, they will be accompanied by another vaccinator to the vaccine room. Once the recipient is provided the vaccine, he will receive an SMS confirming that he has received the vaccine as well as an update about the second dose. The person will be then kept in the observation room for some time.”
Radhakrishan said the vaccination will be carried out in a phased manner and the government is planning not to allow more than 100 people per day for vaccination.
“In the first phase, about six lakh frontline workers will receive the vaccination. The aged people are the next priority, and in the third phase, those below 50 years with co-morbidities will be provided vaccination following which the general public will receive it. The state has already identified 47,000 cites to conduct the vaccination. There are 51 warehouses in the state that has the capacity to store 2.5 crore Covid-19 doses of vaccine at any time,” he said.
Further, Radhakrishnan said that the state has 51 walk-in coolers and 2,800 secondary storage points.
In Chennai, apart from the RGGH, the dry run is being held at two primary health centres, at Santhome and Ekkaduthangal. Three sites each in Nilgris, Tirunelveli and Poonamalle and five in Coimbatore are also conducting the dry runs.