Second COVID vaccination mock-drill across India conducted

Detailed operational guidelines on all aspects of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out have been shared with the states

Covaxin has been developed Bharat Biotech of Hyderabad in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

In the light of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, the central government executed a mock drill on vaccine administration on Friday. These drills are aimed at ensuring efficient planning and management for vaccine delivery all states and Union Territories.

The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), as a simulation of actual execution, planned another round of dry run or mock drill in all 700+ districts of all States/UTs, except Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, on Friday, to ensure efficient planning and management of world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination programme. Uttar Pradesh had already carried out the dry-run exercise on January 5. It was on January 7 in Haryana.

Each district identified three types of session sites, similar to the previous dry run including a public health facility (District Hospital/Medical College), private health facility, and rural or urban outreach sites.

Two COVID-19 vaccines, Covaxin and Covisheild have been given emergency use authorisation by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) recently. The planning of the vaccination drive, including beneficiary registration, microplanning and vaccination at the planned session site, were tested under the leadership of the District Collector/District Magistrate. “The dry run familiarises the State, District, Block and Hospital level officers on all aspects of COVID-19 rollout. This activity will help administrators in strengthening the linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms, identification of any residual challenges before the actual implementation and to provide confidence to the programme managers at all levels to carry out a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive,” a document released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Around 1.7 lakh vaccinators and 3 lakh vaccination team members had been trained on the process to be followed at the vaccination sites which include beneficiary verification, vaccination, cold chain & logistics management, bio-medical waste management, AEFI management and reporting on Co-WIN software.

Detailed operational guidelines on all aspects of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, including session planning & management, session site layout & its organization, AEFI management, IEC messages, infection prevention & control practices etc., had been shared with the States/UTs.

To facilitate the entire vaccination process, a software,‘Co-WIN’ has been developed by the Health Ministry for realtime information on vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine. This software will assist the programme managers across all levels in conduct of the vaccination sessions.

A dedicated 24×7 call centre has also been established for technical queries of Co-WIN users. The cold chain infrastructure (like walk-in-freezers, walk-in-coolers, ice-lined refrigerators, deep freezers) along with sufficient supplies of syringes and other logistics have been ensured to begin COVID-19 vaccination drive. MoHFW will set up a National Media Rapid Response Cell (NMRRC) to address the questions and queries raised by the media and journalists. “NMRRC will ensure preparedness through media monitoring and social listening and respond in real-time and unfold media and public discourse, through extensive monitoring of print, electronic and digital media,” the document said.

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