Maharashtra concluded a dry run of vaccination on over 300 people on Saturday in 12 vaccination centres across four districts. State officials said the procedure ran smoothly except for an internet lag in some areas. While each centre was prepared with a kit to handle anaphylactic reaction, since the actual vaccine was not administered, that component could not be monitored during the dry run.
In Jalna, Health Minister Rajesh Tope attended the trial run. He said delay in identification and registration of beneficiaries was an issue in centres with poor internet connectivity. “There was a problem with uploading data on online software. That was taking long due to poor internet availability. We also realised we need to train officials more on technical aspects. For a few procedures, they had to consult the state team,” Tope said, adding, “Overall the procedure can become smooth with better coordination between health department, education and police department.”
Each centre had five officials, including government teachers who were roped in for identification and registration. The two hour long dry run was held in four districts — Pune, Jalna, Nandurbar and Nagpur. In Pune, district hospital in Aundh, a primary health centre (PHC) and Jijamata hospital in Pimpri Chinchwad were designated for mock drill. In Nagpur, Daga hospital, a rural hospital and an urban PHC, in Nandurbar a PHC, Navapur sub district hospital and district hospital were selected and in Jalna, district hospital, sub district hospital and PHC were roped in.
In Nandurbar’s PHC, at the entrance an official recorded temperature and oxygen saturation level, following which the beneficiary proceeded to the waiting area before entering the vaccination room. The room has charts of Covid-19 do’s and dont’s and prevention methods. An auxiliary nurse midwife explains the process to the beneficiary. While in real immunisation procedure a vaccine will be injected, on Saturday for demonstration purpose, ice boxes and vaccine boxes were kept in the room. After vaccination the beneficiary proceeds to a third room where chairs are placed maintaining physical distancing. Here he is observed for half an hour. “We had anaphylactic kits ready and a nurse to monitor post vaccination period. Since a real vaccine was not used, we did not see adverse reaction,” said Nitin Borke, district health officer, Nandurbar.
Dr Archana Patil, in charge of Covid-19 in Maharashtra, said to resolve internet problem the state will pick centres that are in areas with good connectivity. “For remote areas, we will consult with government of India to allow data entry at another point with internet connection,” she said.
Patil said side effects of vaccine — chiefly fever, sit at pain and redness at point of injection — are also observed in Measles and Rubella vaccination. “Our health officials are already trained to handle that. We need to be careful with anaphylactic reaction. ANM and nurses have been trained to immediately attend to a person who suffers this reaction,” she said.
Meanwhile the state is also prepping its cold storage points. There are 4,000 cold storage points across Maharashtra. The Centre has already supplied 101 iced line refrigerators. Patil said few more will be sent soon.
Maharashtra has 21 walk in coolers and four walk in freezers. Central government will supply six more walk in coolers and two walk in freezers.