New Delhi: The central government on Friday said that it has planned a dry run for administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab next week as a step to prep up before the actual thing takes off.
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.
“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 ministry said in a statement.
It would also enable linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms and identify challenges and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation, including improvements that may be required in the envisaged process.
This will also provide a hands-on experience to programme managers at various levels. This two-day activity is planned on December 28 and 29, and will include activities from the necessary data entries in Co-WIN to vaccine receipt and allocation to deployment of team members, mock drill of session sites with test beneficiaries to reporting and evening meeting.
The dry run will also include testing for cold storage and transportation arrangements for COVID-19 vaccine, management of crowd at the session sites with proper physical distancing.
An important focus of the dry run will be on management of any possible adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). In addition, adherence and management of infection control practices at the session site, to prevent disease transmission.
“The mock drill will include concurrent monitoring and review at the block and district levels, and preparation of feedback to be shared with the State and Union Health Ministry. Detailed checklist has been prepared by the Union health Ministry and shared with the four States to guide them in the dry run,” added the ministry.
India has eight Covid-19 vaccine candidates, including three indigenous vaccines, under different stages of clinical trials which could be ready for authorization in near future.
It includes AstraZeneca and Oxford university developed and Serum Institute of India manufactured Covishield, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech Limited, ZyCoV-D by Zydus Cadila and Russian vaccine candidate Sputnik-V.
The list also contains NVX-CoV2373 by SII, HGCO19 by Geneva, and two unlabeled vaccines-Recombinant Protein Antigen based vaccine by Biological E Limited-and Inactivated rabies vector platform by Bharat Biotech.
The Central Government is gearing up for the roll out of Covid-19 vaccine across the country. 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.
To strengthen the capacity of our human resource for Covid-19 vaccine introduction and roll-out, detailed training modules have been developed for different categories of vaccine handlers and administrators including medical officers, vaccinators, alternate vaccinators, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators and all others involved in the implementation process at different levels.
The training includes all operational aspects of training like organization of vaccination sessions, use of Co-WIN IT platform for management of the entire vaccination process, deployment of HR Cold chain preparedness, management of adverse events, communications and intersectoral coordination, biomedical waste management, infection prevention protocols etc.
Over 2,360 participants were trained during national level Training of Trainers which comprised state immunization officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials, development partners etc.
As on date, the state-level trainings had been completed in all States and UTs with participation of more than 7,000 district-level trainees, except Lakshadweep which will conduct it soon on December 29.
Cascading down, 681 districts (49,604 trainees) have completed the training of Medical Officers on operational guidelines. Vaccination team trainings have been completed in 1399 out of 17831 blocks and planning units. It is ongoing in the other blocks.
To facilitate redressal of queries on COVID-19 vaccination and Co-WIN portal related queries, national 1075 and state 104 Helpline capacity has also been strengthened to address queries beyond their routine support.
The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended three prioritised population groups including Healthcare Workers (HCWs) (about 1 crore), Frontline Workers (about 2 crore), and Prioritized Age Group (about 27 crore).
As vaccines are temperature sensitive and need to be stored in specific temperature, the present cold chain system consisting of 85,634 equipments for storage of vaccine at about 28,947 cold chain points across the country will be used for the cold chain administration.
The current cold chain is capable of storing additional quantity of Covid-19 vaccine required for the first 3 crore prioritized population i.e Health Care Workers and Front Line Workers.