With the objective to gear up for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine across the country, the dry run will be conducted by all the States and UT governments from Saturday.
According to Union Health Ministry, the objective of the dry run for COVID-19 vaccine introduction is to "assess operational feasibility in the use of COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) application in field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation". This is also expected to give confidence to programme managers at various levels, it said.
The activity is proposed to be conducted in all State Capitals in at least 3 session sites. Some States will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain/have poor logistical support. Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their Capital.
In Delhi, the drive will be conducted at three locations - the Daryaganj primary health centre, the government-run Guru Teg Bahadur hospital, and the private Venkateshwara hospital.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had on Friday chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness at session sites across the country for COVID-19 vaccination trial run on Saturday and said just like preparations during elections, each member of medical teams should be trained responsibly.
The minister urged every official to ensure that the vaccination sites and officials in-charge abide by the detailed checklist and Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) for vaccination that has been prepared by the Union Health Ministry.
Referring to Pulse Polio drive in Delhi in 1994, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that as the exercise of vaccination is integrally based on interaction and involvement of people, relevant stakeholders, NGOs and Civil Society Organization (CSOs) need to be mobilised.
During the dry run, for each of the three-session sites, the concerned Medical Officer In-charge will identify 25 test beneficiaries (healthcare workers). The States/UTs have been asked to ensure that the data of these beneficiaries is uploaded in Co-WIN. These beneficiaries will also be available at the session site for the dry run. The States and UTs shall prepare the facilities and users to be created on CoWIN application including uploading the data of Health Care Worker (HCW) beneficiaries.
As the vaccine administrators will play an important role in the vaccination process, training of trainers and those who shall administer the vaccine has been taken up across various States, the Health Ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday.
"Around 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for this purpose. 2,360 participants have been trained in National Training of Trainers and over 57,000 participants trained in District level training in 719 districts. States are augmenting the State helpline 104 (which shall be used in addition to 1075) for any vaccine/software related query. Orientation and capacity building of the Call Centre executives has taken place in the States/UTs. States were also encouraged to use the FAQs issued by the Health Ministry proactively to address any such query," it said.
The first round of the dry run was conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Punjab on 28-29 December, 2020 in two districts each where five session sites with 25 beneficiaries each were identified. No major issues were observed in the operational aspects during this dry run. All States expressed confidence in the operational guidelines and IT platform for large scale programme implementation.