Vaccination's dry run drive begins in 4 states amid new Corona scare

New Delhi: Aiming to test India's vaccine delivery system and other logistics amid the scare of new Covid-19 strain, the government on Monday started two-day dry run drive for Covid-19 vaccination in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Assam.

Focus on management of possible adverse events after immunisation, and dry runs that include checks on cold storage and transportation arrangements will be part of programme that will be carried out in the chosen districts in each state.

All the states will report the observations - recorded during the programme - to the Centre. The government plans to cover 30 crore people in the first phase when it rolls out a vaccine for Coronavirus.

A total of 2,360 training sessions have been held so far, and 7,000 officials have been trained, including medical officers and vaccinators.

Across the four states, five sessions will be held at identified locations with 25 test pre-identified beneficiaries - healthcare workers - for each session. As per the checklist shared with the states by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, beneficiaries will be preidentified and an SMS will be sent to them in advance with the name of the vaccinator and the time of the immunization. After the vaccination, they will be under observation for the next 30 minutes to address any adverse even.

Feasibility of Co-WIN, an electronic application that identifies beneficiaries, and prerequisites for vaccine introduction as per operational guidelines will be assessed.

AEFI (Adverse Event Following Immunisation) panels will be formed and treatment centres will also be identified if the vaccine triggers an adverse response in any of the beneficiaries.

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended three prioritised population groups including, healthcare workers (about 1 crore), frontline workers (about 2 crore), and prioritized age group (about 27 crore).

As vaccines are temperature-sensitive, the present cold chain system consisting of 85,634 equipment for storage of vaccine at about 28,947 cold chain points across the country will be used..

Earlier this month, Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Pfizer had applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), seeking emergency use authorisation for their COVID-19 vaccines.

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