Trial run for COVID-19 vaccine rollout to begin today in 4 states

The government wants to check the possibility of anything going wrong after immunization, besides ensuring storage, transport preparedness and crowd management

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Punjab, Gujarat, Assam and Andhra Pradesh have been chosen by the government for a dry-run of the national vaccination drive, set to be held on December 28 and 29.

The trial will be held in two districts of each of the four states to test preparedness of the health and district machinery in five types of medical settings — district hospitals, community and public healthcare centres, urban and rural areas and private facilities, NDTV reported.

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The government wants to check the possibility of anything going wrong after immunisation, besides conducting mock drills, checking usage of the Co-WIN vaccine registration app, storage and transport preparedness and crowd management.

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“The dry run is important to detect bottlenecks, if any, before the all-India vaccination drive is launched,” Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said on Thursday (December 24).

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Ahead of the national drive, over 2,000 training sessions have been conducted and 7,000 health officials and staffers have been trained.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had hinted at starting the vaccination drive “in any week” of January.

The Delhi and Hyderabad airports have started preparations for storing the temperature-sensitive vaccines. The states, too, have also collated a list of healthcare and frontline workers who would be the first to get the jab.

After three crore healthcare and frontline workers, India expects to vaccinate 27 crore people in the high-risk and vulnerable categories for COVID-19 over next six to seven months, the minister had said.

India, though second worst hit by Covid, has been consistently reporting less number of fresh Covid infections while the number continues to rise across Europe and the US.

India recently crossed the one crore mark in total infections with only 3 per cent active cases. At least 1.46 lakh people have lost their lives since the beginning of 2020.

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