As the country awaits an expected coronavirus vaccination drive in January, a two-day dry run commenced in four states on Monday. The dry run is being conducted to test laid out mechanisms for vaccination in the states and provide insights into any gaps to be addressed before commencement of the actual vaccination drive, according to officials.
The dry run is being carried out in Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh, Rajkot and Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Punjab and Sonitpur and Nalbari districts in Assam. The dry run will test the feasibility of using CoWIN, an application that will identify beneficiaries for the vaccine according to priority, and planning, implementation and reporting mechanism for the vaccination.
As per the checklist shared with the states by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, beneficiaries will be pre-identified and an SMS will be sent to them in advance with the name of the vaccinator and time of the immunisation.
As part of the dry run, SMSes were sent on Monday to some intended beneficiaries in each of the four states who had registered on the CoWIN App, informing them about the time and place of their vaccination under the mock-drill.
In Andhra Pradesh, the dry run is being conducted at Government General Hospital at Vijayawada; Uppuluru PHC, Penmaluru and Prakash Nagar rural PHCs; and Purna Health Institute, Vijayawada. Twenty-five healthcare workers have been identified for each site for the test. The dry run went well at all the centres Monday. A second dry run would be conducted on Tuesday.
Assam officials said five hospitals in each of Nalbari and Sonitpur districts have been chosen for the exercise, the PTI reported.
In Punjab, nodal officer for Covid-19 Dr Rajesh Bhaskar said, “We have a total of 4,000 immunisation teams and each can vaccinate about 100 persons per day. We can vaccinate 4 lakh persons in a day when we receive the vaccine. Our teams are getting ready and this trial run was to check if there flaws at any level so that they can be corrected.”
In Ludhiana, the dry run is being conducted at seven places — Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Civil Hospital Ludhiana and civil hospitals in Payal, Jagraon, Khanna, Riakot and Macchiwara subdivisions.
Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Rajesh Kumar Bagga said, “On Tuesday, beneficiaries will reach the centres. We have chosen 25 health workers for each centre. In all, 175 health workers are part of the dry run.” Adding 125 health workers in Nawanshahr in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district, a total of 300 people are part of the dry run in Punjab.
In Gujarat, a dry run was conducted at four places in Gandhinagar district and preparations were completed for a similar exercise in Rajkot district on Tuesday.
In Rajkot, health officials said they have identified five booths — Padmakunvarba Hospital and Shyamnagar Arogya Kendra, both run by Rajkot Municipal Corporation, Sheth High School, municipal school No. 23 and Sterling Hospital, a private hospital.
“The booths will have a vaccinator and four vaccination officers. Each booth has been connected to a vaccine cold-chain point from where batches of vaccine vials will be dispatched to vaccine booths. Health workers have been drafted as dummy beneficiaries,” Mitesh Bhanderi, chief district health officer of Rajkot, said.
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