Covid vaccine dry run: Prep up before the actual vaccine reaches you

New Delhi: After a year which saw an unprecedented global health crisis, many are anticipating the coronavirus vaccine, as India prepares for the inoculation campaign, which is likely to commence in January 2021. But before the actual vaccination kicks-in, a dry run has been designed for the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine. This morning, the two-day dry run for coronavirus vaccine programme kicked-off in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Assam.

The dry run would enable linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms. It will also identify challenges and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation, including improvements that may be required in the process. Therefore, what exactly happens in a dry run? Below is an explainer of the end-to-end immunisation process:

Q What is a dry run?

It is a process to test the overall mechanism before the actual vaccination takes off. It will help in highlighting gaps and the challenges involved in the vaccination process and help the government find resolutions to these challenges before the actual vaccination begins early next year.

This two-day activity will include activities from the necessary data entries in Co-WIN (a platform which will register beneficiaries) to vaccine receipt and allocation to deployment of team members, mock drill of session sites with test beneficiaries to reporting.

Q) What will dry run include?

This exercise will enable end-to-end mobilisation and testing of Covid-19 vaccination process and check the usage of Co-WIN in field environment. The government will also carry out testing of cold storage and transportation arrangements for the vaccine; and also test the allocation of vaccination site.

Q) States where this dry run will begin?

A two-day dry run for coronavirus vaccine programme commenced on Monday in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Assam.

Q) Who will be the beneficiaries?

District or state authorities running the immunisation drive will pre-determine the beneficiaries, who would have to register on Co-Win portal and carry photo identification.

Q) What will happen in dry run, would the government use the actual vaccine?

No, except the actual vaccination, the government will test all steps leading to it.

Q) What happens at the vaccination site during the dry run?

According to the government SOP, a five-member vaccination team will have a main officer – who could be a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or anyone legally qualified to give an injection – helped by four others.

The second officer will guard the entry point during the vaccination session and the third member will verify the documents. Crowd management will be held by the remaining officers, and the site, where the vaccination process will take place, would be put to test.

Q) Where will the dry run take place?

According to the Health Ministry, each state will plan the dry run in two districts and preferably in different session type settings, for example, district hospital, urban site, private health facility, rural outreach etc.

The Covid-19 vaccination process, end-to-end testing, includes vaccine and logistics mobilisation to the sites in the two districts.

Q) What follows after the dry run?

The state government, after completing the dry run, will prepare a report with suggestions, and this will be sent to the central government to examine the overall process and actions required.

(IANS)

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